Daily bath linked to lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, study finds

Caroline Allen
Contributor
Taking regular baths has been linked to a lower risk of death from heart disease and stroke. (Getty Images)

Just in case you needed another excuse to add a nice relaxing bath to your daily routine, there’s a new study touting its benefits.

The research, published online in the journal Heart, found that taking regular baths is linked to a lower risk of death from heart disease and stroke.

The more frequently you jump in the tub the better, too – a daily bath seems to be the most effective at warding off unwanted cardiovascular diseases.

Read more: Two portions of red meat a week increases chances of stroke

It’s not all good news for bath-lovers, though.

Sudden deaths associated with hot baths are “relatively common” in Japan, where the study took place.

Despite this, there are plenty of health benefits to a regular dip, which range from better sleep quality to better overall health.

Plus, let’s not forget that running a bath is one of the first things many of us tend to do when feeling stressed or anxious.

Read more: Cholesterol levels should be checked from age 25, study suggests

To conduct the 30-year study, the researchers called on participants at The Japan Public Health Center and tracked the behaviours of 61,000 adults between the ages of 45 and 59.

In 1990, the participants filled in a detailed questionnaire about their lifestyle habits, including exercise, diet, alcohol intake, weight, average sleep duration, medical history and current medicine use.

Each participant was monitored until death or completion of the study.

During the monitoring period, 2097 cases of cardiovascular disease occurred: 275 heart attacks, 53 sudden cardiac deaths and 1769 strokes.

Read more: A 10-minute walk a day decreases risk of stroke

The researchers took out any underlying factors and found that a daily hot bath was associated with a 28% lower overall risk of cardiovascular disease, and participants were 26% less likely to die from a stroke.

It’s suggested that the water needs to be warm or hot to lower cardiovascular disease risks, but the temperature didn’t seem to matter for stroke risk.

It’s also worth noting that typical Japanese bathing sees people submerge themselves to shoulder height, which is likely to have a critical impact on the study.

According to the research, the reason for the lower risk of cardiovascular disease is because the effect a bath has on the heart isn’t dissimilar to the effect exercise has on it.

It’s important to make sure you’re paying attention to how hot the bath is, though.

“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.” Dr Andrew Felix Burden said.