Want To Reduce Dementia Risks? Visit The Sauna Often, Study Suggests

A new study which was carried out at University of Eastern Finland shows frequent sauna bathing can reduce the risk of dementia.  This is the first study linking sauna and dementia.

Men Who Takes A Sauna Bath 4-7 Times Weekly Are Less Likely To Have Dementia

The study involved 2,000 middle-aged men living in the eastern part of Finland looked at the effects of sauna bathing on the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.  In a 20-year follow-up, investigators found that  those who took a sauna 4-7 times a week were 66% less likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those taking a sauna once a week.

Regularly Visiting The Sauna Is Also Linked To Reduced Risk To Overall Mortality

The study called Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) previously showed results that frequently visiting the sauna significantly reduces risk of sudden cardiac death, the risk of death due to coronary artery disease and other cardiac events, as well as overall mortality.  Professor Jari Laukkanen, study author, said that sauna bathing could protect both the heart and the memory to some extent, but the specific mechanism that caused this health benefit is still unknown.

"It is known that cardiovascular health affects the brain as well," Laukkanen said. "The sense of well-being and relaxation experience during sauna-bathing may also play a role."

According to dementia charities, saunas might work by reducing blood pressure and improving circulation.  The more frequently saunas were taken, the lower the risk of dementia. 

Research Manager at the Alzheimer's Society, Dr Clare Walton said that is the biggest killer across England and Wales and finding ways to reduce the risk is a "top priority".  "Currently the best evidence to reduce the risk of dementia is to exercise regularly, eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid smoking," Walton told the Telegraph.

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