health care

Study: Lunar cycle shown to effect heart surgery

Posted 7/22/13

PROVIDENCE – The waning and full-moon cycles were found to effect cardiac patients undergoing acute aortic dissection, according to a study at Rhode Island Hospital published online in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

The purpose of the study was to assess the effect of natural time variations of both the season and the lunar cycle phase on hospital survival and length of stay following acute aortic dissection repair.

“While there has been previous research of seasonal impacts on cardiovascular disease, there has not been any data about the effect of the lunar cycles on cardiac cases, until now,” said senior author Dr. Frank Sellke, chief of cardiothoracic surgery and co-director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals. “We focused the study on patients having aortic dissection and found that the odds of dying following this procedure were greatly reduced during the waning full moon, and that length of stay was also reduced during the full moon.”

Selke said scheduling for such procedures could not always be planned around lunar cycles. “Can we always plan for such procedures to be performed around lunar cycles? Of course not,” Sellke said. “But better understanding the effects of the environment – including seasonal and lunar cycles – on our health can help us to better understand these rhythms, and ultimately provide better care for our patients.”

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