, 10:671 | Cite as

Solar activity during gestation does not affect human lifespan: evidence from national data

  • Samuli HelleEmail author
Research Article


Human lifespan has been reported to relate to solar activity during prenatal development. The likely key mechanism behind this association is increased mutagenic ultraviolet (UVB) radiation during high solar activity that damages DNA. Here, the aim was to replicate the findings of those previous few studies that have suggested a reduced lifespan of individuals born during the years of high solar activity, measured as the sunspot numbers. We used data on annual cohort life expectancy at birth of both women and men born between 1751 and 1915, obtained from ten nations located mainly in Europe. These data, however, provided no evidence that human life expectancy at birth was related to solar activity during gestation among the countries studied.


Sunspots Ageing Prenatal programming The high initial damage load hypothesis 



This study was funded by the Academy of Finland (grant no. 207270).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Ecology, Department of BiologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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