Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review

Hussain, J and Cohen, M 2018, 'Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review', Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2018, pp. 1-30.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review
Author(s) Hussain, J
Cohen, M
Year 2018
Journal name Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume number 2018
Start page 1
End page 30
Total pages 30
Publisher Hindawi
Abstract Introduction. Many health benefits are claimed by individuals and facilities promoting sauna bathing; however the medical evidence to support these claims is not well established. This paper aims to systematically review recent research on the effects of repeated dry sauna interventions on human health. Methods. A systematic search was made of medical databases for studies reporting on the health effects of regular dry sauna bathing on humans from 2000 onwards. Risk of bias was assessed according to the Cochrane Collaboration guidelines. Results. Forty clinical studies involving a total of 3855 participants met the inclusion criteria. Only 13 studies were randomized controlled trials and most studies were small (n<40). Reported outcome measures were heterogeneous with most studies reporting beneficial health effects. Only one small study (n=10) reported an adverse health outcome of disrupted male spermatogenesis, demonstrated to be reversible when ceasing sauna activity. Conclusions. Regular dry sauna bathing has potential health benefits. More data of higher quality is needed on the frequency and extent of adverse side effects. Further study is also needed to determine the optimal frequency and duration of distinct types of sauna bathing for targeted health effects and the specific clinical populations who are most likely to benefit.
Subject Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Sauna
Whole-body thermotherapy
DOI - identifier 10.1155/2018/1857413
Copyright notice Copyright © 2018 Joy Hussain and Marc Cohen. Creative Commons Attribution License
ISSN 1741-427X
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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