Impact of space weather on human heart rate during the years 2011–2013

Abstract

During the last years a possible link between different levels of solar and geomagnetic disturbances and human physiological parameters is suggested by several published studies. In this work the examination of the potential association between heart rate variations and specific space weather activities was performed. A total of 482 individuals treated at Hippocratio General Hospital in Athens, the Cardiology clinics of Nikaia General Hospital in Piraeus and the Heraklion University Hospital in Crete, Greece, were assessed from July 2011 to April 2013. The heart rate of the individuals was recorded by a Holter monitor on a n hourly basis, while the hourly variations of the cosmic ray intensity measured by the Neutron Monitor Station of the Athens University and of the geomagnetic index Dst provided by the Kyoto Observatory were used. The ANalysis Of VAriance (ANOVA) and the Multiple Linear Regression analysis were used for analysis of these data. A statistically significant effect of both cosmic rays and geomagnetic activity on heart rate was observed, which may indicate that changes in space weather could be linked to heart rate variations.

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Acknowledgements

The authors from the University of Athens would like to thank the Special Research Account of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens for supporting the Cosmic ray Research, as well as the Cosmic ray group for kindly providing Athens cosmic ray data. Respectively, special thanks are given to Mrs A. Kokkinari for her support in order to obtain Holter data.

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Correspondence to H. Mavromichalaki.

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Galata, E., Ioannidou, S., Papailiou, M. et al. Impact of space weather on human heart rate during the years 2011–2013. Astrophys Space Sci 362, 138 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10509-017-3118-8

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Keywords

  • Space weather
  • Cosmic ray intensity
  • Geomagnetic activity
  • Heart rate