Regular sauna bathing may cut high BP risk in men
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According to a recent study, taking a sauna bath four to seven times a week may reduce the risk of high blood pressure (BP) by approximately 50 percent in men.

According to a recent study, taking a sauna bath four to seven times a week may reduce the risk of high blood pressure (BP) by approximately 50 percent in men.

Earlier, a study has shown that frequent sauna bathing decreases the risk of sudden cardiac death, as well as cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.

High blood pressure is documented to be one of the most critical risk factors of cardiovascular diseases.

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland discovered that the risk of hypertension was 24 percent lowered among men with a sauna frequency of two to three times a week, and 46 percent reduced among men who had a sauna four to seven times a week.

A sauna is a small room or building designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions. The study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, discovered that sauna bathing may reduce systemic blood pressure through different biological mechanisms.

During sauna bathing, the body temperature may rise up to two degrees Celsius, causing vessel vasodilation or widening of blood vessels, experts stated. Regular sauna bathing improves endothelial function, i.e. the function of the inside layer of blood vessels, which has beneficial effects on systemic blood pressure.

Sweating, in turn, removes fluid from the body, which is a contributing factor to decreased blood pressure levels. In addition, sauna bathing may also lower systemic blood pressure due to overall relaxation of the body and mind, experts claimed.

Researchers studied 1,621 middle-aged men living in the eastern part of Finland. Study participants without elevated blood pressure of over 140/90 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) or with diagnosed hypertension at the study baseline were included in the study.

Based on their sauna bathing habits, men were divided into three sauna frequency groups: those taking a sauna once a week, two to three times a week, or four to seven times a week.

During an average follow-up of 22 years, 15.5 percent of the men developed clinically defined hypertension.