Archive for February, 2015

The Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing

February 28, 2015

Suana has been touted as a habit that can prolong life by supposedly improving your bodys blood flow and aiding hemodynamic function. A recent study published in JAMA Feb 2015 seems to prove the theory right…..

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Abstract

Importance: Sauna bathing is a health habit associated with better hemodynamic function; however, the association of sauna bathing with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality is not known.

Objective: To investigate the association of frequency and duration of sauna bathing with the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD), fatal coronary heart disease (CHD), fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD), and all-cause mortality.

Design, Setting, and Participants: We performed a prospective cohort study (Finnish Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study) of a population-based sample of 2315 middle-aged (age range, 42-60 years) men from Eastern Finland. Baseline examinations were conducted from March 1, 1984, through December 31, 1989.

Exposures: Frequency and duration of sauna bathing assessed at baseline.

Results: During a median follow-up of 20.7 years (interquartile range, 18.1-22.6 years), 190 SCDs, 281 fatal CHDs, 407 fatal CVDs, and 929 all-cause mortality events occurred. A total of 601, 1513, and 201 participants reported having a sauna bathing session 1 time per week, 2 to 3 times per week, and 4 to 7 times per week, respectively. The numbers (percentages) of SCDs were 61 (10.1%), 119 (7.8%), and 10 (5.0%) in the 3 groups of the frequency of sauna bathing. The respective numbers were 89 (14.9%), 175 (11.5%), and 17 (8.5%) for fatal CHDs; 134 (22.3%), 249 (16.4%), and 24 (12.0%) for fatal CVDs; and 295 (49.1%), 572 (37.8%), and 62 (30.8%) for all-cause mortality events. After adjustment for CVD risk factors, compared with men with 1 sauna bathing session per week, the hazard ratio of SCD was 0.78 (95% CI, 0.57-1.07) for 2 to 3 sauna bathing sessions per week and 0.37 (95% CI, 0.18-0.75) for 4 to 7 sauna bathing sessions per week (P for trend = .005). Similar associations were found with CHD, CVD, and all-cause mortality (P for trend ≤.005). Compared with men having a sauna bathing session of less than 11 minutes, the adjusted hazard ratio for SCD was 0.93 (95% CI, 0.67-1.28) for sauna bathing sessions of 11 to 19 minutes and 0.48 (95% CI, 0.31-0.75) for sessions lasting more than 19 minutes (P for trend = .002); significant inverse associations were also observed for fatal CHDs and fatal CVDs (P for trend ≤.03) but not for all-cause mortality events.

Conclusions and Relevance: Increased frequency of sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of SCD, CHD, CVD, and all-cause mortality. Further studies are warranted to establish the potential mechanism that links sauna bathing and cardiovascular health.

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Or those who frequent the sauna were also health buffs and have regular physical activity????

Whatever the final take of the study is….

Sauna is fun and healthy so enjoy!

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Sedentary Behavior and Disease Risk

February 16, 2015

Trending lately are articles on how sitting for almost the entire day can be harmful to health.  The latest issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, reports how the bad effects of sitting can affect health and how these effects are not be “reversed” by physical activity….

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Background: The magnitude, consistency, and manner of association between sedentary time and outcomes independent of physical activity remain unclear.

Purpose: To quantify the association between sedentary time and hospitalizations, all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer in adults independent of physical activity.

Data Sources: English-language studies in MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Web of Knowledge, and Google Scholar databases were searched through August 2014 with hand-searching of in-text citations and no publication date limitations.

Study Selection: Studies assessing sedentary behavior in adults, adjusted for physical activity and correlated to at least 1 outcome.

Data Extraction: Two independent reviewers performed data abstraction and quality assessment, and a third reviewer resolved inconsistencies.

Data Synthesis: Forty-seven articles met our eligibility criteria. Meta-analyses were performed on outcomes for cardiovascular disease and diabetes (14 studies), cancer (14 studies), and all-cause mortality (13 studies). Prospective cohort designs were used in all but 3 studies; sedentary times were quantified using self-report in all but 1 study. Significant hazard ratio (HR) associations were found with all-cause mortality (HR, 1.240 [95% CI, 1.090 to 1.410]), cardiovascular disease mortality (HR, 1.179 [CI, 1.106 to 1.257]), cardiovascular disease incidence (HR, 1.143 [CI, 1.002 to 1.729]), cancer mortality (HR, 1.173 [CI, 1.108 to 1.242]), cancer incidence (HR, 1.130 [CI, 1.053 to 1.213]), and type 2 diabetes incidence (HR, 1.910 [CI, 1.642 to 2.222]). Hazard ratios associated with sedentary time and outcomes were generally more pronounced at lower levels of physical activity than at higher levels.

Limitation: There was marked heterogeneity in research designs and the assessment of sedentary time and physical activity.

Conclusion: Prolonged sedentary time was independently associated with deleterious health outcomes regardless of physical activity.

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Take note however, that the deleterious effects of prolonged sitting time on health from watching TV, working in our office overtime,  are more pronounced among those who do little or no exercise than among those who exercise regularly.

It is therefore advised to take breaks by standing and walking few minutes for every hour of sitting.