OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of sauna bathing on lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in a Finnish population-based cohort.
METHODS: A mail survey was sent to a population-based cohort of 50-, 60-, and 70-year-old men in 1994 followed by repeat questionnaires in 1999 and 2004. The evaluation of ten different types of LUTS was based on Danish Prostatic Symptom Score (DAN-PSS-1). The weekly frequency of sauna bathing was assessed in the first questionnaire and divided into three subgroups (0-1, 2, and ≥3). The prevalence, incidence, and remission rate of each LUTS was assessed based on the initial and follow-up assessments. In addition, the mean DAN-PSS-1 symptoms score, medication for LUTS, and operative treatment were determined at each time-point. Chi-square test, a linear-by-linear test, and binary logistic regression analysis were used to assess statistical significance.
RESULTS: The population-based cohort included initially 3,163, men of whom 1,306 (41.3%) responded to all three questionnaire rounds and were included in the analysis. There was no clear association between sauna bathing frequency and prevalence of the nine LUTS, nor with incidence and remission rates. The only exception was feelings of incomplete emptying, with lower prevalence associated with frequent sauna bathing. There were no clear differences in the medications or operations for LUTS by sauna bathing habits.
CONCLUSION: Based on our results, sauna bathing does not affect LUTS development or natural history in the long-term.
- Lower urinary tract symptoms
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