Tub bathing may confer cardioprotective benefits
Frequent tub bathing may contribute to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in middle-aged adults, a study suggests.
The study followed a cohort of 30,076 Japanese adults aged 40–59 years with no history of CVD or cancer, among whom 21,618 (71.9 percent) reported bathing in a tub bath almost every day. Most participants who bathed in a tub less frequently were likely to be current smokers, manual labour workers, unemployed, have long sleep duration and a history of diabetes mellitus, but less likely to be current drinkers and do regular physical exercise. Furthermore, those who bathed in a tub less frequently had lower consumption of vegetables, fruits and fish.
During 538 373 person-years of follow-up, there were 2,097 participants who developed CVD, including 328 cases of coronary heart diseases (CHDs; 275 myocardial infarctions and 53 sudden cardiac deaths) and 1,769 cases of stroke (991 cerebral infarctions, 510 intracerebral haemorrhages, 255 subarachnoid haemorrhages and 13 unclassified strokes).
Cox proportional hazards regression analysis revealed that compared with less frequent tub bathing (0–2 times/week), almost daily or everyday use of a tub bath reduced the risk of incident CVDs. The resulting hazard ratios were 0.72 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.62–0.84; p<0.001) for total CVD, 0.65 (95 percent CI, 0.45–0.94, p=0.065) for CHD, 0.74 (95 percent CI, 0.62–0.87; p=0.005) for total stroke, 0.77 (95 percent CI, 0.62–0.97; p=0.467) for cerebral infarction, and 0.54 (95 percent CI, 0.40–0.73; p<0.001) for intracerebral haemorrhage. No such benefits were observed for sudden cardiac death and subarachnoid haemorrhage.
The present data show that tub bathing may play a role in the prevention of CVD, researchers said.