Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

Download references

Acknowledgments

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

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Samuli Helle.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Helle, S. Solar activity during gestation does not affect human lifespan: evidence from national data. Biogerontology 10, 671 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10522-009-9214-6

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10522-009-9214-6

Keywords

  • Sunspots
  • Ageing
  • Prenatal programming
  • The high initial damage load hypothesis