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Cosmic rays activity and monthly number of deaths: a correlative study.

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Division of Cardiology and Epidemiology Unit, Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tikva, Israel.


We studied the relation between the intensity of cosmic rays, the level of solar/geomagnetic activity, and the monthly numbers of deaths in a large hospital in Israel and in all Lithuania. The Israeli data include 30526 hospital deaths, two groups of fatal suicides (2359, 2763), and 15435 suicidal attempts for two periods of 108 and 236 consecutive months. The national data for the entire Republic of Lithuania include 424925 deaths for the period of 120 consecutive months. Cosmic rays intensity was measured by an Apatity neutron monitor. We obtained the data on solar, geomagnetic radiovawe propagation, ionosphere ionization hours, proton flux of two energy levels (>90 and 60 MeV) from the National Geophysical Data Center at Goddard Space Flight Center, National Space Environment Center at Boulder, Colorado, USA, and from the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN), Russia. We calculated Pearson coefficients and their probabilities for correlation between monthly space activity level and monthly number of male and female deaths from different causes. Cosmic rays activity revealed significant negative correlation with solar/geomagnetic activity indices and related physical phenomena levels. This activity strongly correlated with flux of protons with the energies >90 MeV proton flux and did not exhibit significant correlation with 60 MeV proton fluxes. Cosmic rays intensity correlation with monthly numbers of deaths was strong for noncardiovascular deaths, suicides, and traffic accidents. The correlation was much weaker for deaths caused by ishemic heart disease and strokes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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