We examined changes in the apparent whole-blood viscosity (aWBV) of healthy subjects using non-anticoagulated specimens during Japanese style bathing. We have developed a falling needle rhemeter (FNR) that is able to measure several terminal velocities with resin needles in various densities within 210 s. When a needle falls into whole blood in the columnar container, the parameters of aWBV, shear stress and shear rate can be calculated using the blood density, needle density and terminal velocity of the needle as measured by the FNR. Multiple measurements can be made in one whole-blood fluidity analysis, using only a small amount of specimen without any anticoagulant. In this study, several non-eldery healthy adults remained immersed up to the armpits in a sitting posture in the bathtub. In order to maintain a constant bath temperature, heated tap water kept being added. Whole-blood fluidity was analyzed with several aWBVs at various shear rates measured using the FNR. Referring to a previous study reporting on conditions of hemodynamic change, our preliminary examination found that observation of a change in blood fluidity required 10 min of bathing in water at 42 degrees Celsius. Eight healthy men and one healthy woman therefore took a single-bath for 10 min at 42 degrees Celsius for the single-bathing examination. Six of these nine subjects, including the female subject, showed increased aWBVs in the high-shear-rate region with a single bath. And one subject showed increased aWBVs in the high-shear-rate region, 10 min after bathing. These subjects showed altered whole-blood fluidity in the low-shear-rate region at the time of changing aWBVs in the high-shear-rate region. Six healthy men were enrolled in a double-bathing examination, first bathing for 10 min, then taking a break for 5 min and taking a second bath for 5 min. All subjects showed increased aWBVs in the high-shear-rate region: two of the six enrolled subjects showed increases after the first bath; three subjects showed increases after the second bath; and the remaining subject showed an increase at 10 min after the second bath. All subjects showed increased aWBVs in the high-shear-rate region, and a simultaneous change in whole-blood fluidity in the low-shear-rate region. Notably, the time needed for a change in whole-blood fluidity was very short. To implement the present study, non-elderly adult volunteers were enrolled to reduce the risk of accidents and some limitations were placed on bathing conditions. As changes in blood fluidity were observed under bathing conditions with water temperature over 42 degrees Celsius and immersion up to the armpits in a sitting posture, we concluded that prolonged Japanese-style bathing in water exceeding 42 degrees Celsius is dangerous.
Forty-one patients with periarthritis with no evident articular contracture at the start of acupuncture (at the first presentation) were divided into 13 subjects who developed articular contracture during acupuncture (transition group) and 28 subjects who did not (non-transition group), and the clinical characteristics of the two groups were compared. The following results were obtained. (1) The mean age of the subjects was significantly higher in the transition group than in the non-transition group (58.5±6.8 years vs. 52.1±9.6 years). (2) The percentage of subjects in the transition group was significantly higher in the subjects not clearly diagnosed as having no contracture at the first presentation than clearly diagnosed as no contracture (57% vs. 19%). (3) The percentage of subjects in the transition group was significantly higher in the subjects in whom the lesion site was enlarged or could not be identified than independent (50% vs. 17%). (4) The percentage of subjects in the transition group was significantly higher in the subjects with nocturnal pain than without (64% vs. 15%). (5) The transition group was unlikely to show improvement of pain or restriction of the range of motion with acupuncture as compared to the non-transition group. The possibility of developing articular contracture should be considered while providing treatment by acupuncture and guidance to patients showing the above tendencies.
Because bathing frequency decrease as Alzheimer disease (AD) worsens, we investigated the relation between cognitive disfunction and bathing frequency. We asked AD patients and their caregivers about the number of times the patient bathed per week before onset of dementia and the time of first clinical consultation. We investigated the relation between scores from a cognitive function test (Hasegawa’s Dementia Scale-Revised [HDS-R], the Mini Mental State Examination [MMSE] and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised [WAIS-R]), and a depression assessment (Zung Self-rating Depression Scale [SDS]) and number of baths taken per week. Before onset of dementia, the average number of baths taken by 89 AD patients (26 men, 63 women; range: 63-90 years, average: 79.8 years), was 6.6 times/week. At evaluation time, this number had decreased significantly to 5.3 times/week (p<0.001). A significant positive correlation was found between perfomance Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and total IQ of the WAIS-R and number of baths (p<0.001, p<0.01, respectively). No significant correlation coefficient was found between HDS-R, MMSE, verbal IQ of the WAIS-R and the SDS and number of baths. Reasons of the patients gave for less frequent bathing were that bathing was troublesome or was forgotten and that thermoregulation of bath water had become impossible. The results suggested that in AD patients, number of baths taken decreased with aggravation of cognitive dysfunction and that there were multiple participating factors including memory disturbance, depressive state, and, particularly, executive dysfunction.
The purposes of this study were to analyze the chemical composition of some bath water in a simple alkaline hot spring utilizing a hospital and clarifying the factors that influence the concentration of each component of the hot spring water accompanying the bathing. Water samples were collected in plastic bottles from some bath water and transported to the laboratory. The pH value, electrical conductivity, cations (sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium ions), anions (fluorine, chlorine, nitrite, nitrate and sulfate ions) and metasilicic and metaboric acids were measured. To investigate the factors that increase concentrations of each component in bathing water, aeration examinations with air or nitrogen gas were continued for one month. The concentrations of sulfate and nitrate ions in the bath water showed an increased tendency compared to those of the hot spring water just after welling up. After aeration with air, the concentration of sulfate ions became higher than that with nitrogen gas. On the contrary, an increase in the concentration of nitrate ions was not found in water aerated with air or nitrogen gas. In conclusion, the oxidation of sulfur in the hot spring water may have caused the density change of the sulfate ions in the bath water. As for the nitrate ions, the increase in the concentration in the bath water seems to have been caused by perspiration during bathing, but not by oxidation for nitrogen in the hot spring water.