Les adaptations physiologiques à l'utilisation fréquente du sauna chez les personnes âgées

 

Daniel Gagnon

Centre de recherche de l'Institut de cardiologie de Montréal

 

Domaine : santé circulatoire et respiratoire

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2016-2017

Prolonged periods of above normal temperatures, also known as heat waves, pose a serious threat to human health and well-being. Older individuals are particularly vulnerable during heat waves as they represent the population most at risk of death during such events. Older individuals are also the population most at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which is the number one cause of death worldwide. Therefore, identifying a strategy that helps older individuals better tolerate the heat and that improves cardiovascular health would greatly improve the health and well-being of our ageing society. The overall purpose of this research program is to determine if frequent sauna use can improve heat tolerance and cardiovascular health in older individuals. First, studies will be performed to examine the control of internal body temperature in older individuals and determine if it can be improved with regular sauna exposures.

Second, studies will be performed to examine changes in blood vessel health and the control of nerve activity - important determinants of cardiovascular health - following a prolonged period of sauna use in older individuals. Through these studies, the research program will determine if frequent sauna use can be advocated to improve the health and well-being of older individuals. Furthermore, the results of the research program will serve as the basis for future studies which will determine if sauna use can improve the health and well-being of individuals who suffer from cardiovascular disease.