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Hot bath, heart arrest linked
Sat, 23 Apr 2011 12:38:21 GMT
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Taking a hot bath on a cold day may slightly increase the risk of experiencing cardiac arrests, a Japanese study says.

The new study found the rate of sudden deadly stop of heart contraction or cardiac arrests rises by 10-fold during while taking a bath in winter days compared with hot summer days, Reuters Health reported.

Researchers at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine School of Nursing analyzed data from nearly 11,000 patients experiencing cardiac arrests between 2005 and 2007.

The findings showed that 22 percent of the victims were asleep when their heart stopped contracting, 9 percent were taking a bath, 3 percent were at work and half a percent were exercising. The rest were on a “non-specific” or unknown activity, researchers wrote in the journal Resuscitation.

Although it was still very low overall but when considering the number of cardiac arrests which occur each year, taking a bath with 54 arrests per 10 million people would stand at the top of the list, followed by exercising with 10 per 10 million people.

Scientists say their findings may be extra important in Japan as, “In Japan, most people take a deep hot bath, since traditional Japanese homes are not well-insulated as in the west, and central heating is quite uncommon.”

Moreover, the study showed that the risk of developing cardiac arrest for those taking a hot bath is tied to the outside temperatures, adding that more cardiac arrests occur on colder days.

The study failed to recognize the exact cause of the higher incidence of heart emergencies in bathers. However, they suggested that temperature shock caused by jumping into the hot tub on a cold day may cause a rapid drop of blood pressure, which stresses the heart, leading to cardiac arrest.

“Preventive approaches such as warming a bathroom and a hallway or refraining from taking a deep hot bath could be important for high risk people,” Chika Nishiyama and colleagues wrote.

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