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Often I have advised a patient who was considering an unnecessary test, such as a coronary artery calcium test or carotid ultrasonography from a mobile van, to forgo that test and instead spend the money on something that he or she would actually enjoy, such as a massage or spa treatment. In this issue, Laukkanen et al1 present data indicating that my advice would not only help my patients feel good but would also, if they chose to regularly use a sauna bath, help them live longer. Analyzing data from the Finnish Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Study, the authors found that men who took more frequent saunas (4-7 times per week) actually live longer than once-per-week users. Although we do not know why the men who took saunas more frequently had greater longevity (whether it is the time spent in the hot room, the relaxation time, the leisure of a life that allows for more relaxation time, or the camaraderie of the sauna), clearly time spent in the sauna is time well spent.
Redberg RF. Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):548. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8206