HealthDay News — Sauna exposure is associated with improvements in cardiovascular function and arterial compliance, according to a study published online 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 1 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 <.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 <.0001). After 30 minutes recovery, systolic BP remained lower than pre-sauna levels.

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


Laukkanen T, Kunutsor SK, Zaccardi F, et al. Acute effects of sauna bathing on cardiovascular function [published online December 21, 2017]. J Hum Hypertens. doi:10.1038/s41371-017-0008-z