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Stroke. 2014 Jun;45(6):1639-45. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.004577. Epub 2014 Apr 22.

Geomagnetic storms can trigger stroke: evidence from 6 large population-based studies in Europe and Australasia.

Author information

1
From the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences (V.L.F., P.G.P., R.K.) and Knowledge Engineering and Discovery Research Institute (N.K.), Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand; School of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand (S.B.-C.); Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health (D.A.B.) and University Department of Clinical Neurology (P.M.R.), University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; Neurological and Mental Health Division at the George Institute for Global Health, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (C.S.A.); Department of Medicine, Southern Clinical School, Monash University Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia (A.G.T.); Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden (B.S.); Service de Neurologie, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire, Dijon, France (M.G.); University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of Dijon, EA 4183, University of Burgundy, Stroke Registry of Dijon (Inserm and Invs), Dijon, France (Y.B.); and Centre of Human Aerospace and Physiological Science, King's College London, London, United Kingdom (P.C.). valery.feigin@aut.ac.nz.
2
From the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences (V.L.F., P.G.P., R.K.) and Knowledge Engineering and Discovery Research Institute (N.K.), Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand; School of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand (S.B.-C.); Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health (D.A.B.) and University Department of Clinical Neurology (P.M.R.), University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; Neurological and Mental Health Division at the George Institute for Global Health, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (C.S.A.); Department of Medicine, Southern Clinical School, Monash University Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia (A.G.T.); Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden (B.S.); Service de Neurologie, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire, Dijon, France (M.G.); University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of Dijon, EA 4183, University of Burgundy, Stroke Registry of Dijon (Inserm and Invs), Dijon, France (Y.B.); and Centre of Human Aerospace and Physiological Science, King's College London, London, United Kingdom (P.C.).

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Although the research linking cardiovascular disorders to geomagnetic activity is accumulating, robust evidence for the impact of geomagnetic activity on stroke occurrence is limited and controversial.

METHODS:

We used a time-stratified case-crossover study design to analyze individual participant and daily geomagnetic activity (as measured by Ap Index) data from several large population-based stroke incidence studies (with information on 11 453 patients with stroke collected during 16 031 764 person-years of observation) in New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, France, and Sweden conducted between 1981 and 2004. Hazard ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.

RESULTS:

Overall, geomagnetic storms (Ap Index 60+) were associated with 19% increase in the risk of stroke occurrence (95% CI, 11%-27%). The triggering effect of geomagnetic storms was most evident across the combined group of all strokes in those aged <65 years, increasing stroke risk by >50%: moderate geomagnetic storms (60-99 Ap Index) were associated with a 27% (95% CI, 8%-48%) increased risk of stroke occurrence, strong geomagnetic storms (100-149 Ap Index) with a 52% (95% CI, 19%-92%) increased risk, and severe/extreme geomagnetic storms (Ap Index 150+) with a 52% (95% CI, 19%-94%) increased risk (test for trend, P<2×10(-16)).

CONCLUSIONS:

Geomagnetic storms are associated with increased risk of stroke and should be considered along with other established risk factors. Our findings provide a framework to advance stroke prevention through future investigation of the contribution of geomagnetic factors to the risk of stroke occurrence and pathogenesis.

KEYWORDS:

environment; stroke

PMID:
24757102
DOI:
10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.004577
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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