Abstract 16743: Sauna Bathing, Sudden Cardiac Death and Cause-Specific Cardiovascular Mortality
Introduction: Warm sauna bathing is associated with a better hemodynamic function; however, the association of sauna bathing with fatal cardiovascular outcomes is not known
Hypothesis: The frequency and duration of sauna bathing may be related to the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD), fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events.
Methods: This study is based on 2323 (42 to 60 years) participants from the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease risk factor study, which is a population-based sample of men from Eastern Finland. During median follow-up of 20.7 years (interquartile range 18.1-22.6 years), a total of 197 SCDs, 282 fatal CHD and 407 CVD events occurred.
Results: Frequency, duration, and temperature of sauna bathing were assessed at baseline; 1060 participants reported using sauna once weekly, 1054; 2-3 times per week and 201; 4-7 per week, respectively. After adjustment for conventional CVD risk factors, compared to men reporting 1 sauna per week the hazard ratio (HR) of SCD was 0.87 (95% confidence interval, CI 0.64 to 1.18) for 2-3 sauna/week and 0.46 (95% CI 0.23 to 0.89) for 4-7 sauna/week (p=0.036 for linear trend). Compared to men using sauna 19 minutes per session (highest third) (p=0.002 for linear trend). Similar results were found for the associations between frequency or duration of sauna bathing with fatal CHD or CVD events.
Conclusions: The frequency and duration of sauna are associated with a substantial reduced risk of SCD, CHD and CVD mortality. Further studies are warranted to define the potential mechanism behind these associations.
Author Disclosures: T. Laukkanen: None. H. Khan: None. F. Zaccardi: None. J.A. Laukkanen: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.