Saunas May Lower Dementia Risk In Men
Men who use saunas regularly appear to have a much lower risk of dementia than men who take saunas less often. This news comes from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), a long-running investigation involving more than 2,000 middle-aged men in eastern Finland. The research team identified participating men on the basis of how often they reported using saunas – four to seven times a week, two to three times a week or only once a week. After 20 years of follow up results showed that the men who took the most saunas were 66 percent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia and 65 percent less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease than those who took only a weekly sauna. This was the first investigation to associate saunas with the risk of dementia. Earlier results from the KIHD study linked frequent saunas to significantly lower risks of sudden cardiac death, deaths due to coronary artery disease, other cardiac events, as well as overall mortality. Study leader Professor Jari Laukkanen noted that heart health affects the brain, which may explain the lower risks of dementia seen and that relaxation experienced during saunas may also play a role.
Jari Antero Laukkanen. “Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged Finnish men.” Age and Ageing, December 2016 DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afw212
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