Hot Tubs and Hypertension

Published Online: Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Because blood pressure drops when the body is immersed in hot water, most hot tubs have signed posted suggesting that people with hypertension consult their doctor before climbing in.

A new study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2002 in Octo-ber, however, indicates that a short soak does not seem to be harmful for patients on blood pressure medicine.
The relaxing of the blood vessels associated with being immersed in hot water (104?F) for 10 minutes is about the same as from a brisk walk. On the other hand, chest pain, shortness of breath, or other symptoms that would prevent patients from doing moderate exercise should also preclude a hot tub or sauna.

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