Solar activity cycle and the incidence of foetal chromosome abnormalities detected at prenatal diagnosis

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Abstract

We studied 2001 foetuses during the period of minimal solar activity of solar cycle 21 and 2265 foetuses during the period of maximal solar activity of solar cycle 22, in all women aged 37 years and over who underwent free prenatal diagnosis in four hospitals in the greater Tel Aviv area. There were no significant differences in the total incidence of chromosomal abnormalities or of trisomy between the two periods (2.15% and 1.8% versus 2.34% and 2.12%, respectively). However, the trend of excessive incidence of chromosomal abnormalities in the period of maximal solar activity suggests that a prospective study in a large population would be required to rule out any possible effect of extreme solar activity.