Reportedly, astronauts have been exposed to high levels of radiation as notoriously harsh environment is possessed by outer space. And as per the sources, rate of heart disease and cancer can be increased by exposure of the radiation in earthbound humans. But good news is given by a study: risk of astronaut’s death from heart disease or cancer is not augmented by space radiation, at least not at the doses experienced by them throughout historical missions. According to author, still, longer missions, like a mission to Mars will probably come with much greater radiation does, which might pose larger risk of health.
The body is exposed to higher levels of ionizing radiation in space travel as compared to those typically experienced on our planet Earth. And that radiation has been associated at high doses not just to heart disease and cancer, but to a host of additional health complications too. A link between an increased risk of death from heart disease or cancer and space travel have not been found by earlier studies, but since relatively few people have travelled to space, these researches might not have been too small to detect such an association, said by the authors.
Data from 418 travelers of space was analyzed by the new research, comprising 301 astronauts of NASA who had traveled to space at least once since the year 1959, and 117 Soviet or Russian cosmonauts, who had been to space at once since the year 1961. On an average, these participants were followed for nearly twenty-five years. Throughout this time, 89 of the participants died. Amongst the fifty-three astronauts of NASA who died, 15 percent died from heart disease and 30 percent died from cancer; however, amongst the thirty-six Soviet or Russians cosmonauts who died, 28 percent died from cancer and 50 percent from heart disease.