Medical experts warn that space traveling may increase the risk of heart disease. As per the latest study, the space radiation can damage cells and clog the arteries.
The astronauts that went to the Moon were four times more prone to cardiovascular conditions that those who went on the Earth’s low orbit. When compared with people that had never been in space, the risk is five times higher.
The Earth’s magnetic field can protect the astronauts from the charged particles that come from space. As for the astronauts that go further away from our planet, their body is exposed to radiations.
Several countries intend to send people to the Moon, while the United States plans a human mission to Mars. It is a high possibility that the current studies will not convince the governments to change their plans.
The study had to be limited at the 24 astronauts that went off beyond the magnetic shield outside our planet.
“A lot of studies published both with humans and animals have very small numbers. It’s the norm rather than the exception, but it means you have to be very cautious in your interpretations,” said Michael Delp, the study’s lead author and a physiology professor at the Florida State University in Tallahassee.
The research also had to include the cause of death for the seven astronauts that participated in the Apollo missions from the 1960s and the 1970s. Three of them died of cardiovascular disease, including Neil Armstrong, which is percentage quite large.
Out of the 35 deceased astronauts that went out in the Earth’s magnetic field, four of them died of heart conditions. The rate is much lower than the one for people that traveled outside the magnetic field.
When it came to the astronauts that that never went into space, only 9% died of cardiovascular disease. In real numbers, 3 out of 35 “land astronauts” had the cause of death linked to a heart condition.
Further on, the astronauts recreated a deep space environment in the laboratory and monitored the effect it had on mice. The creatures were exposed to radiations and had to deal with weightlessness, and had been followed for up to seven months, which would be the equivalent of 20 human years.
Even the mice had cardiovascular issues similar to the humans that went to the Moon.
NASA said that the results are inconclusive because of the small number of participants. However, the agency has some projects of its own on assessing health risks for astronauts.
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