HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessNamed bath habit that reduces death risk from heart disease and stroke...

Named bath habit that reduces death risk from heart disease and stroke by 35%

Published on

A long-term study published online in the journal Heart suggests that regular tub bathing is associated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease and stroke.

The findings show that the higher the ‘dose,’ the better it appears to be for cardiovascular health, with a daily hot bath appearing to be more beneficial than a once or twice weekly one.

However, a linked editorial issues a word of caution, noting that unexpected mortality from hot baths is rather prevalent in Japan, where the study was undertaken.

Bathing is linked to higher sleep quality and self-reported health, but its long-term influence on cardiovascular disease risk, such as heart attack, sudden cardiac death, and stroke, remains unknown.

The researchers used participants from the Japan Public Health Center-based Study Cohort 1, a population-based monitoring study of over 61,000 middle-aged people, to investigate this further (45 to 59 years).

At the start of the study in 1990, more than 43,000 people filled out a detailed questionnaire about their bathing habits and other factors that could affect them, such as how much exercise they did, how much alcohol they drank, how much sleep they got, and how many medicines they took.

Each participant was tracked until death or the end of the trial in December 2009, whichever came first, with a total of 30,076 participants included in the final analysis.

There were 2097 cases of cardiovascular disease throughout the surveillance period, including 275 heart attacks, 53 sudden cardiac deaths, and 1769 strokes.

After accounting for potentially important factors, data analysis revealed that a daily hot bath was related with a 28 percent reduced overall risk of cardiovascular disease and a 26 percent lower overall risk of stroke when compared to a once or twice weekly bath or no bath at all.

Bathing in the tub was not linked to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death or a specific type of stroke called subarachnoid haemorrhage (bleed into the space surrounding the brain).

Further investigation of preferred water temperature revealed that warm and hot water had 26 percent and 35 percent decreased chances of total cardiovascular disease, respectively. However, no significant links between overall stroke risk and water temperature were discovered.

However, when the researchers excluded those who had suffered cardiovascular illness within 5 or 10 years of enrolling in this study, the associations discovered were not quite as strong, but they were still statistically significant.

Since this is an observational study, no cause can be determined, and variations in bathing frequency were not recorded during the monitoring period. Immersion to shoulder height is also a common Japanese bathing style, which could be a crucial component.

However, past study has suggested a link between heat exposure and the prevention of cardiovascular disease, according to the researchers, because the effects of heat on the body are comparable to those of exercise.

“We found that frequent tub bathing was significantly associated with a lower risk of hypertension, suggesting that a beneficial effect of tub bathing on risk of [cardiovascular disease] may in part be due to a reduced risk of developing hypertension,” wrote the researchers.

They agree that taking a hot bath can be dangerous, especially if the temperature is excessively high, as Dr. Andrew Felix Burden points out in a related editorial.

“There can be no doubt about the potential dangers of bathing in hot water, and the occurrence of death from this increases with age, as well as with the temperature of the water,” he added.

Although cardiovascular disease is unlikely to be the cause of these deaths, he believes that overheating, which leads to confusion and drowning, is the most likely explanation.

“Investigations into the potential cardiovascular benefit of heat-free immersion in warm to hot water are needed,” he added. “In the meanwhile, caution is needed because of the higher mortality associated with such bathing in an unselected population.”

Source: 10.1136/heartjnl-2019-316187

Image Credit: Getty

You were reading: Named bath habit that reduces death risk from heart disease and stroke by 35%

Latest articles

Does This Mean We Stopped Being Animal and Started Being Human Due to ‘Copy Paste’ Errors?

A Surprise Finding About Ancestral Genes In Animals Could Make You Rethink The Roles...

The One Lifestyle Choice That Could Reduce Your Heart Disease Risk By More Than 22%

New Research Reveals How To Reduce Stress-related Brain Activity And Improve Heart Health Recent studies...

Aging: This Is What Happens Inside Your Body Right After Exercise

The concept of reversing aging, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has...

Immune-Boosting Drink that Mimics Fasting to Reduce Fat – Scientists ‘Were Surprised’ By New Findings

It triggers a 'fasting-like' state In a recent study, scientists discovered that the microbes found in...

More like this

Does This Mean We Stopped Being Animal and Started Being Human Due to ‘Copy Paste’ Errors?

A Surprise Finding About Ancestral Genes In Animals Could Make You Rethink The Roles...

The One Lifestyle Choice That Could Reduce Your Heart Disease Risk By More Than 22%

New Research Reveals How To Reduce Stress-related Brain Activity And Improve Heart Health Recent studies...

Aging: This Is What Happens Inside Your Body Right After Exercise

The concept of reversing aging, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has...