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Regular saunas lessens stroke risk

Gorkha Post

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Regular sauna bathing ( 4-7 sessions a week ) reduces the risk of stroke by 61 percent, finds a study based on the population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) that involved 1,628 men and women aged 53 to 74 years living in the eastern part of Finland.

Finland is the birthplace of the traditional sauna which involves sitting in a room filled with dry heat at temperatures that top 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a 15-year follow-up study — published in the journal Neurology — people taking a sauna 4-7 times a week were 61 percent less likely to suffer a stroke than those taking a sauna once a week.

The study participants were divided into three groups based on their frequency of taking traditional Finnish sauna baths (relative humidity 10-20 percent) : those taking a sauna once a week, those taking a sauna 2-3 times a week, and those taking a sauna 4-7 times a week.

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The more frequently saunas were taken, the lower was the risk of stroke. Compared to people taking one sauna session per week, the risk was decreased by 14 percent among those with 2-3 sessions and 61 percent among those with 4-7 sessions.

It’s not clear whether the results would extend to other types of heat therapy — from steam rooms to hot tubs — that are more common in other countries, said lead researcher Setor Kunutsor.

The association persisted even when taking into account conventional stroke risk factors, such as age, sex, diabetes, body mass index, blood lipids, alcohol consumption, physical activity and socio-economic status. The strength of association was similar in men and women.

Mechanisms driving the association of sauna bathing with reduced stroke may include a reduction in blood pressure, stimulation of immune system, a positive impact on the autonomic nervous system, and an improved cardiovascular function,according to the researchers.

Previous results from the KIHD study at the University of Eastern Finland have shown that frequent sauna bathing also significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.

With Agency Inputs

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Health

Women with diabetes have higher cancer risk : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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SYDNEY — The increased risk of cancer in people with diabetes is higher for women than men, according to a major study by Australian researchers.

Women with diabetes were also at greater risk than men of getting leukemia and stomach, mouth and kidney cancers, the George Institute for Global Health medical research group said in a statement on Friday.

Previous research identified the link between diabetes and cancer risk, but this study looked at whether that risk differs between men and women.

Among people with diabetes, women have a 6 percent higher risk of cancer than men, the researchers said in the study, published in the journal Diabetologia.

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For women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the cancer risk is 27 percent higher compared to other women. And men with diabetes have a 19 percent higher cancer risk than men who don’t have the blood sugar disease, the findings showed.

And, for men the risk was 19 percent higher. The numbers “highlight the need for more research into the role diabetes plays in developing cancer” and “demonstrate the increasing importance of sex specific research,” said the researchers.

And based on the researchers’ analysis of data from 47 studies, diabetics of both sexes are at greater risk of cancer than people without diabetes.

“Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms underlying the sex differences in the diabetes-cancer association,” the study authors concluded.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.7 million deaths in 2015. About one in four women and one in three men will develop cancer during their lifetime, the study authors noted in a journal news release.

Similary, diabetes affects more than 415 million people worldwide, with 5 million deaths linked to it every year.

With Inputs from Agency

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