A recent study performed at the University of Eastern Finland states that men who frequently take sauna baths are at a lower risk of getting diagnosed with dementia, compared with men who make sauna trips once a week or so.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia is a brain-related condition caused when an individual's brain is damaged by diseases like Alzheimer's or when a person experiences a series of strokes. The most common symptoms of dementia include loss of memory, orientation issues, language problems, impairment of visuo-spatial skills and difficulties experienced at problem solving, thinking, planning, organizing or concentrating. These concerns could be small when the disease commences but may gradually grow and progress into a serious problem over time severely affecting the daily life of a person.
In dementia, symptoms may differ among people depending on the part of the brain affected by the disease. It also depends greatly on how supportive people and surroundings around the afflicted person are.
Regular Sauna Sessions Lowers Dementia Risk In Men
A study conducted by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland revealed that men who took sauna baths four to seven times per week had 66 percent less chances of getting diagnosed with dementia, compared with men taking sauna baths only once a week. The study was a 20-year-long follow-up and the first of its kind to look out for a link between dementia and sauna bathing.
Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) focused on investigating the impact of sauna bathing among men getting diagnosed with different types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. The study involved examining about 2,000 men aged between 42 and 60 years, residing in eastern Finland. The men were put into three groups depending on their sauna frequency preferences.
The first group included men taking sauna once a week, the second group included men taking sauna two to three times a week and the third group had men who took sauna four to seven times a week.
It was found that the more the number of sauna baths the men took, the lesser was the risk of dementia. The discovery was published in the Age and Ageing journal.
Sauna May Also Reduce Fatal Cardiac Incidents
Earlier inferences from the KIHD study showed that taking sauna baths often may also considerably lower the risk of various cardiac diseases. According to Professor Jari Laukkanen, the lead author of the study, frequent sauna visits may protect both memory and heart, and thus reduce overall mortality rate in men significantly.
"However, it is known that cardiovascular health affects the brain as well. The sense of well-being and relaxation experienced during sauna bathing may also play a role," said Professor Laukkanen, in a press release.