A warm daily bath may lower your risk of heart attack or stroke, new research suggests
- Research at Osaka University shows that hot baths lower high blood pressure
- Study followed thousands of Japanese for 19 years
- It was found that a daily warm bath was associated with a 28% lower risk of heart disease
Taking a warm bath every day can reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack, research suggests.
Scientists found that soaking in the bath lowers high blood pressure – and the more people bathe, the better it appears for blood vessel and heart health.
Researchers from the University of Osaka used participants in a study by the Japan Public Health Center, which followed adults aged 45 to 59.
Typically, Japanese bathing involves immersion to shoulder height, and the study authors – published in the journal Heart – say this could be a critical factor
When the study started in 1990, more than 43,000 participants provided detailed information about their bathing habits and lifestyle.
Each participant was followed until death or completion of the study in late December 2009, with the final analysis based on 30,076 subjects.
During the monitoring period, 2,097 cases of cardiovascular disease occurred: 275 heart attacks; 53 sudden cardiac deaths; and 1769 strokes.
After taking into account potentially influential factors, the analysis showed that, compared to a biweekly soak or no immersion at all, a daily warm bath was associated with a 28 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
And a preferred water temperature analysis pointed to a 26 percent lower and 35 percent lower risk of overall cardiovascular disease for hot and warm water, respectively.
Typically, Japanese bathing involves immersion to shoulder height, and the study authors – published in the journal Heart – say this may be a critical factor.
Study author Professor Hiroyasu Iso said, ‘We found that frequent bathing was significantly associated with a lower risk of hypertension, suggesting that a beneficial effect of bathing on the risk of cardiovascular disease may be due in part to a reduced risk of developing hypertension. ‘
Having a warm bath has previously been associated with better sleep quality and better self-esteem.
The researchers recognized that taking a warm bath is not without risk, especially if the temperature is too high.
Overheating can lead to confusion and possibly drowning and death – especially in older swimmers