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Fewer Heart Deaths for Finnish Sauna Users

Men who use a traditional Finnish sauna may be less likely than others to die from heart disease, a new study suggests. Most doctors now recommend that heart patients stay away from saunas because of the demands they place on the heart and blood vessels. A traditional Finnish sauna is dry and very hot. The new study included 2,300 middle-aged Finnish men. Researchers asked them questions about their sauna use, among other things. Then they kept track of the men for an average of 20 years. In that time, men who used a sauna twice a week or more had lower rates of sudden death, other heart-related death or stroke than those who used a sauna only once a week. Reductions in death risk ranged from 22% to 27% for those with 2 to 3 sauna sessions. Risk was 48% to 63% lower for men who used a sauna 4 to 7 times a week. Men who used a sauna more often also had lower overall death rates.

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