In May 2018 researchers from the UK, USA, Finland and Austria published the results of their study to assess the association between sauna usage and risk of first-time stroke in 1,628 individuals, aged 53-74 years. Information on sauna usage was assessed at the start of the study and the individuals were divided into three groups according to the number of sauna sessions undertaken per week; namely 1, 2-3, 4-7 sessions. During an average follow-up of 15 years, 155 individuals experienced their first stroke. Results showed that frequent sauna usage substantially reduced the risk of first-time stroke. A further analysis revealed that whilst the risk was substantially reduced for ischaemic stroke it was only modestly reduced for haemorrhagic stroke, although this could be due to the low incidence (34 cases) of haemorrhagic stroke.
Kunutsor SK et al. Sauna bathing reduces the risk of stroke in Finnish men and women: A prospective cohort study. Neurology. 2018 May 29;90(22):e1937-e1944 [Epub ahead of print]