The Finnish sauna and cardiovascular diseases

Ann Clin Res. 1988;20(4):267-70.


From time to time it has been claimed that the thermal stress caused by sauna bathing can be harmful to persons with cardiovascular disorders. Furthermore, elderly persons in general, who have experienced no symptoms from bathing, have also been cautioned. However, several studies carried out in Finland did not confirm the adverse effects of bathing on the elderly and cardiovascular patients. The controversial results obtained in Finnish and in some foreign studies are at least partly due to the different test conditions. The typical Finnish sauna bath is safe, and even patients who have recovered from acute myocardial infarction can enjoy the sauna without incurring any harmful cardiovascular effects.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Steam Bath*