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Results from the study reported that compared with men who reported one sauna bathing session per week, the risk of sudden cardiac death was 22 percent lower for 2 to 3 sauna bathing sessions per week and 63 percent lower for 4 to 7 sauna sessions per week. The risk of fatal coronary heart disease events was 23 percent lower for 2 to 3 bathing sessions per week and 48 percent lower for 4 to 7 sauna sessions per week compared to once a week. Sudden cardiovascular death also was 27 percent lower for men who took saunas 2 to 3 times a week and 50 percent lower for men who were in the sauna 4 to 7 times a week compared with men who indulged just once per week. For all-cause mortality, sauna bathing 2 to 3 times per week was associated with a 24 percent lower risk and 4 to 7 times per week with a 40 percent reduction in risk compared to only one sauna session per week. The amount of time spent in the sauna seemed to matter too. Compared with men who spent less than 11 minutes in the sauna, the risk of sudden cardiac death was 7 percent lower for sauna sessions of 11 to 19 minutes and 52 percent less for sessions lasting more than 19 minutes. Similar associations were seen for fatal coronary heart diseases and fatal cardiovascular diseases but not for all-cause mortality events. The researchers found that there was an inverse relationship between sauna and (cardiovascular disease) risk, meaning that more is better. On the basis of these results, it seems that more than four sauna sessions per week had the lowest risk, but also those with two to three sauna sessions may get some benefits.
Tanjaniina Laukkanen, Hassan Khan, Francesco Zaccardi, Jari A. Laukkanen. Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015;
Robbie Durand has been in the sports supplement and bodybuilding industry for 15 years. He has contributed to many national magazines and web sites. He has an M.A. in exercise physiology from Southeastern University and a B.A. in Dietetics from Louisiana State University.