How saunas may help your heart

How saunas may help your heart

Do you want to help your heart? Then spend some time in a sauna, according to Finnish researchers.

Over 2,000 Finnish men were surveyed about the frequency of their sauna visits each week for 20 years. Men who went to the sauna four to seven times a week lowered their risk of sudden cardiac risk by 63 percent, had a 48 percent lower risk of chronic heart disease, a 50 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and were 40 percent less likely to die from all other causes of death compared to those who went to the sauna once a week. Even, men who went to the sauna two to three times a week benefited.

Time also played a part in the heart health of the men. The longer they spent in the sauna, the lower their heart risk. Men who spent more than 19 minutes in the sauna decreased their risk of dying from sudden cardiac death by 52 percent compared to those who spent only 11 minutes.

“This study provides prospective evidence that sauna bathing is a protective factor against the risk of sudden cardiac death, fatal CHD, fatal CVD and all-cause mortality events in the general male population,” said researchers. “Our results suggest that sauna bathing is a recommendable health habit, although further studies are needed to confirm our results in different population settings.”

Study leaders believe these findings could be duplicated in other populations, however more research is needed.


Do you know your risk for heart disease? Take our heart risk assessment here. If you are at high risk, see one of Advocate Heart Institute’s cardiologists within 24 hours.


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  1. Camille, the title of the article suggests that you will explain the How. Does anyone know why sitting in a Sauna is beneficial? Maybe it isn’t the Sauna at all, and wearing thick white robes is what does your heart good?

  2. Camille:

    Maybe the men who spend more time in a sauna 4-7 times a week don’t have as much job and family demands on their time as the others.

  3. I have High BP and I have added Sauna Bathing to my gym routine. I have notice a huge difference in my BP numbers. Todd, I believe it is a benifit because of the pulling of excess water out of your system which thickens the blood. Bottom line is it has worked for me.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.