Sauna Bathing and Dementia Risk

January 27, 2017

Although sauna bathing can be beneficial in cardiovascular disease, how does the practice impact dementia and Alzheimer disease?

Recent studies have shown beneficial effects of sauna bathing in cardiovascular disease, but what about dementia and Alzheimer disease?

In a population-based prospective study published in the journal Age and Ageing, researchers looked at the frequency of sauna bathing and risk of Alzheimer disease.

A prospective cohort of 2,315 men aged 42-60 years, with baseline examinations between 1984 and 1989, were followed for a median of 20.7 years. Two hundred four were subsequently diagnosed with dementia and 123 with Alzheimer disease.

Cox-regression analysis was used to identify predictive risk based on the frequency of sauna bathing. High frequency sauna bathing (4-7 sessions per week) was associated with the lowest risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer disease in this population.

The authors called for further research to investigate possible mechanisms for this link.