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Sauna Exposure Improves Cardiovascular Function

TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2018 -- Sauna exposure is associated with improvements in cardiovascular function and arterial compliance, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Tanjaniina Laukkanen, from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, and colleagues examined the impact of sauna bathing in a study of 102 participants with at least one cardiovascular risk factor.

The researchers found that the mean carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity decreased from 9.8 m/s before sauna to 8.6 m/s immediately after sauna (P < 0.0001). There was also a decrease in mean systolic blood pressure (BP) from 137 to 130 mm Hg and in diastolic BP from 82 to 75 mm Hg (both P < 0.0001). After 30 minutes recovery, systolic BP remained lower than pre-sauna levels.

"This study demonstrates that sauna bathing for 30 min has beneficial effects on arterial stiffness, BP, and some blood-based biomarkers," the authors write. "These findings may provide new insights underlying the emerging associations between sauna bathing and reduced risk of cardiovascular outcomes."

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Posted: January 2018