TUESDAY, April 25, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Frequent sauna bathing is not associated with impaired renal function or future risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study published online April 8 in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Setor K. Kunutsor, M.D., Ph.D., from University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues evaluated associations between the frequency of sauna bathing with renal function measures and CKD. The analysis included 2,071 men (aged 42 to 61 years) with normal kidney function.

The researchers observed no significant changes in baseline levels of estimated glomerular filtration rate, creatinine, and sodium for four to seven sauna sessions per week versus one per week, while there was a slight increase in potassium 0.05 mmoL/L (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.00 to 0.10; P = 0.033). At 11 years, there were no significant changes noted in levels of serum potassium or sodium. After 25.7 years of median follow-up, there was no evidence of an association with CKD (hazard ratio, 0.84; 95 percent CI, 0.46 to 1.53; P = 0.56) when comparing four to seven sauna sessions per week to one session per week.

“These new results are encouraging and provide an important public health message that regular sauna baths do not have adverse effects on renal function,” the authors write.

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