A study published today in Scientific Reports failed to associate exposure to space radiation with an increased risk of death from cancer or cardiovascular disease among both astronauts and cosmonauts.
No trend or hiccup could be detected in the data pointing to a common cause of death, namely exposure to radiation. “If ionizing radiation is impacting the risk of death due to cancer and cardiovascular disease, the effect is not dramatic,” concluded the authors of the new study.
The stats were a bit different for cosmonauts, half of whom died of heart disease and 28 percent from cancer. “If ionizing radiation is impacting the risk of death due to cancer and cardiovascular disease, the effect is not dramatic.
It is important to note that future missions of deep space exploration will likely offer much greater doses of space radiation than have historical doses, which will lead to a different risk profile for future astronauts and cosmonauts.
Excessive exposure to the Sun’s harmful rays is an occupational hazard endured by astronauts, who run the risk of contracting cancer and heart disease as a result.
These individuals died from various causes, but Reynolds and his team were only interested in two particular causes of death: cancer and cardiovascular disease, as those conditions had the potential to be linked to radiation exposure.