The new findings show that men who went to a sauna seven times a week were less to develop a fatal heart condition, compared to the men who spent time in a sauna only once a week.
The study involved more than 2,000 middle-aged men who were studied by researchers for more than 20 years.
The findings suggest that the more time the men spent inside a sauna, the lower their risk was of dying from a sudden cardiac attack, coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.
One of the scientists who took part in the study, Dr. Jari Laukkanen, cardiologist at the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, said that spending time in a sauna was often associated with a lower risk of heart-related death, even after other factors were taken into account.
The study began in the 1980s and the volunteers had to fill out questionnaires answering how often they went to saunas on a weekly basis.
Out of the 2,000 men, 1,500 said they went to a sauna 2-3 times a week, 600 of them responded that they used a sauna once a week, while 200 of them said they went to a sauna frequently, 4-7 times a week.
The duration ranged from 2 to 90 minutes at a time, while the temperature inside the sauna house ranged from 40 to 100 degrees Celsius.
In 2011, the scientists used hospital documents, interviews, death certificates and the men’s autopsy reports to determine when and how those involved in the study had died.
It was revealed that approximately 190 of the men had died of sudden cardiac death, 281 men suffered a fatal coronary heart disease, 407 of died from cardiovascular disease, and 929 died due to other causes.
The reports showed that 10% of those who went to a sauna once a week died from sudden cardiac attack, compared to 8% of the one who used a sauna two or three times a week and 5% of the men who sauna bathed four to seven times a week.
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