American scientists came to the conclusion that space flights beyond the Earth’s orbit sharply increase the likelihood of death from cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Most likely this is due to the action of cosmic radiation. The results of the work are published in the journal Scientific Reports .
Employees of the University of Florida and colleagues from other scientific centers analyzed the causes of the death of astronauts in three groups: never flying into space, having been in a low earth orbit and members of the lunar mission Apollo are the only people today who have gone beyond the Earth’s magnetosphere there were a total of 24, to the present eight have died).
It was found that the mortality rate from CVD in the astronauts of Apollo (43 percent) is approximately four times higher than that of their colleagues trained on Earth (nine percent) and flying to low earth orbit (11 percent).
To determine the possible cause of this pattern, the researchers subjected laboratory mice to the action of radiation similar to cosmic, simulated zero-gravity and both factors simultaneously.
It turned out that weightlessness produces an unintended negative effect on the cardiovascular system, but within six months (the equivalent of 20 years of human life) its effects are leveled. In mice exposed to radiation with or without simulated weightlessness, pronounced violations of the function of the inner shell (endothelium) of the arteries were observed in the same period. Similar disorders are the basis for the development of atherosclerosis and the diseases caused by it, such as coronary heart disease (including myocardial infarction), ischemic stroke and others.
Thus, long-range space flights negatively affect the state of the cardiovascular system, which must be borne in mind when planning future missions beyond the terrestrial magnetosphere.