Acute vascular benefits of Finnish sauna bathing in patients with stable coronary artery disease.
Can J Cardiol. 2020 Jun 29. Epub 2020 Jun 29. PMID: 32615263
BACKGROUND: Finnish sauna bathing habits are associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular mortality. The physiological adaptations mediating this association remain to be fully elucidated. This study tested the hypothesis that Finnish sauna bathing acutely improves peripheral flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in middle-aged and older adults with stable coronary artery disease (CAD).
METHODS: Twenty-two adults (20 males/2 females, 67± 10 years) with stable CAD underwent 2 periods of 10 minutes in a Finnish sauna (81.3 ± 2.7°C, 23 ± 3% humidity) separated by 10 minutes of thermoneutral rest. Before and 51 ± 8 minutes after sauna bathing, brachial artery FMD and post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PORH) were evaluated by Doppler ultrasound.
RESULTS: Sauna bathing increased core temperature (+0.66°C [0.54, 0.77], P<0.01) and heart rate (+27 bpm [24, 29], P<0.01), and decreased systolic (-19 mmHg [-27, -9], P<0.01) and diastolic (-6 mmHg [-10, -2], P<0.01) blood pressures. Brachial artery FMD was greater following sauna bathing (+1.21% [0.16, 2.26], P=0.04), while PORH was unchanged (Peak: +0.51 ml/min/mmHg [-0.13, 1.15], P=0.11; AUC: +0.21 ml/mmHg [-0.12, 0.54], P=0.19).
CONCLUSION: A typical Finnish sauna bathing session acutely improves peripheral FMD in middle-aged and older adults with stable CAD.