Research Articles

Home » Infrared Sauna » Cardiovascular Health Studies » Effects of Repeated Sauna Treatment on Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

Effects of Repeated Sauna Treatment on Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

Effects of Repeated Sauna Treatment on Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

Download PDF:
heartsaunastudy

Takashi Kihara, MD; Sadatoshi Biro, MD; Yoshiyuki Ikeda, MD; Tsuyoshi Fukudome, MD; Takuro Shinsato, MD; Akinori Masuda, MD; Masaaki Miyata, MD; Shuichi Hamasaki, MD; Yutaka Otsuji, MD; Shinichi Minagoe, MD; Suminori Akiba, MD*; Chuwa Tei, MD

Background: The aim of the present study was to determine whether repeated 60°C sauna treatment improves cardiac arrhythmias in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients, because ventricular arrhythmias are an important therapeutic target in CHF.

Methods and Results: Thirty patients (59±3 years) with New York Heart Association functional class II or III CHF and at least 200 premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)/24h assessed by 24-h Holter recordings were studied. They were randomized into sauna-treated (n=20) or non-treated (n=10) groups. The sauna-treated group underwent a 2-week program of a daily 60°C far infrared-ray dry sauna for 15min, followed by 30min bed rest with blankets, for 5 days per week. Patients in the non-treated group had bed rest in a temperature-controlled room (24°C) for 45 min. The total numbers of PVCs/24 h in the sauna-treated group decreased compared with the non-treated group [848±415 vs 3,097±1,033/24 h, p<0.01]. Heart rate variability (SDNN, standard deviation of normal-to-normal beat interval) increased [142±10 (n=16) vs 112±11 ms (n=8), p<0.05] and plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentrations decreased [229±54 vs 419±110 pg/ml, p<0.05] in the sauna-treated group compared with the non-treated group.

Conclusion: Repeated sauna treatment improves ventricular arrhythmias in patients with CHF. (Circ J 2004; 68: 1146 –1151)