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Frequent sauna bathing may prevent dementia in men: Study

Study shows men who frequently use a sauna are less likely to develop dementia.

By
Amy Wallace
Researchers in Finland have found that frequent sauna use in middle-age men lowers the risk of them developing dementia. TheUjulala/PixaBay
Researchers in Finland have found that frequent sauna use in middle-age men lowers the risk of them developing dementia. TheUjulala/PixaBay

JOENSUU, Finland, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland found that men who frequently used saunas were much less likely to develop dementia.

The 20-year study showed that men taking a sauna 4-7 times a week were 66 percent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia than men taking a sauna only once a week.

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The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study examined the effects for sauna bathing on the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in more than 2,000 middle-aged men in eastern Finland.

Participants were divided into three groups: men taking a sauna once a week, men taking a sauna 2-3 times a week and men taking a sauna 4-7 times a week.

The study found that men taking a sauna 4-7 times a week had a 66 percent lower risk of developing any form of dementia and a 65 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than those taking a sauna only once a week.

Other positive effects from frequent sauna bathing were significantly reduced risks of sudden cardiac death, death due to coronary artery disease and other cardiac events, along with overall mortality.

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"However, it is known that cardiovascular health affects the brain as well," Professor Jari Laukkanen, study leader, said in a press release. "The sense of well-being and relaxation experienced during sauna bathing may also play a role."

The findings were published in the journal Age and Ageing.

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