Long-term association between the intensity of cosmic rays and mortality rates in the city of Sao Paulo
Environmental Research Letters
Human beings are constantly exposed to many kinds of environmental agents which affect their health and lifespan. Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) are the main source of ionizing radiation in the lower troposphere, in which secondary products can penetrate the ground and underground layers. GCRs affect the physical-chemical properties of the terrestrial atmosphere, as well as the biosphere. GCRs are modulated by solar activity and latitudinal geomagnetic field distribution. In our
... ecological/populational retrospective study, we analyzed the correlation between the annual flux of local secondary GCR-induced ionization (CRII) and mortality rates in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, between 1951-2012. The multivariate linear regression analyses adjusted by demographic and weather parameters showed that CRII are significantly correlated with total mortality, infectious disease mortality, maternal mortality, and perinatal mortality rates (p < 0.001). The underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Further cross-sectional and experimental cohort studies are necessary to understand the biophysical mechanisms of the association found here.