Correlation between Changes in Local Earth’s Magnetic Field and Cases of Acute Myocardial Infarction

Correlation between Changes in Local Earth’s Magnetic Field and Cases of Acute Myocardial Infarction

ijerph-15-00399-g001

Abstract

The impact of changes in the geomagnetic field on the human body remains the subject of studies across the world, yet there is no consensus. Current studies are observing effects that require further work by researchers in order to find out the mechanisms that would allow a proper assessment of the correlations between the Earth‘s magnetic field variations and changes in human organisms. The main purpose of this study was to investigate possible correlations between the strength of time-varying aspects of the local Earth’s magnetic field and incidence of myocardial infarctions. Study participants included 435 males and 268 females who had diagnosis of myocardial infarction during the period of 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 and attended the Department of Cardiology at the Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LUHS), Kauno klinikos. Time varying magnetic field data was collected at the magnetometer site located in Lithuania. After mathematical analysis, the results support the hypothesis that the Earth’s magnetic field has a relationship between the number of acute myocardial infarction with ST segment elevation (STEMI) cases per week and the average weekly geomagnetic field strength in different frequency ranges. Correlations varied in different age groups as well as in males and females, which may indicate diverse organism sensitivity to the Earth’s magnetic field.

Keywords: geomagnetic field, Earth’s magnetic field, myocardial infarction, magnetic field, cardiology, acute coronary syndrome

1. Introduction

1.1. Cell Regulation

The hypothesis that the time varying magnetic fields of the earth may be regulatory mechanism of cells acting through the ion cyclotron resonance mechanism has been proposed []. It is claimed that every living organism has specific sensitivity to the strength and frequency of fluctuations of magnetic fields [,]. Laboratory findings demonstrate the effect of ion cyclotron mechanism on extracted myocardial cell regulation []. However, according to recent publications, it remains unclear whether the local magnetic field of the Earth has an effect on the regulation of human heart cells. We started investigating this at our university in 2014, when we signed agreement of cooperation between Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LUHS) and Heartmath Institute, located in California, USA. Thanks to the directorate of the institute, Lithuania received and began to operate extremely sensitive magnetometer (pT sensitivity), the only one of a kind in Europe. Currently, there are six such magnetometers across the globe: USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Lithuania. By using the magnetometer’s live data we can observe changes in the local earth’s time varying magnetic fields in Lithuania and compare it with medical data.

1.2. Regulation of Cardiovascular System

Scientists have investigated the effect on cardiovascular system of healthy humans in the absence of earth‘s magnetic field. When healthy subjects were isolated from the magnetic field and compared to a control group, a significant increase of 17% in capillary blood flow and average reduction of 2 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure on was found [].

In other studies, researchers evaluated how changes in the geomagnetic field affects cardiovascular regulation under laboratory conditions. Baroreflex sensitivity, estimated from blood pressure and heart rate responses to intravenous injections of phenylephrine and nitroprusside, showed significant negative correlations between increasing geomagnetic field disturbance and baroreflex sensitivity, heart rate variability, and arterial blood pressure. These findings support the theory that geomagnetic field disturbances affect neural cardiovascular regulatory centers []. The decrease of baroreflex sensitivity may lead to higher mortality after myocardial infarction [].

The Earth‘s magnetic field is a constantly changing. It changes daily, throughout the week, month, and year. During winter spectral power of the local magnetic field of the Earth decreases (Figure 1), begins to increase in spring and reaches the peak in summer. In autumn, the strength of magnetic field starts to decrease to the lowest point in winter (Lithuania GCI003 magnetometer data from https://www.heartmath.org/research/global-coherence/gcms-live-data/). These changes may affect the processes occurring in human organisms. In the literature on health disturbances, it has been found that both weak and strong magnetic fields are associated with negative health outcomes [,]. We believe that different people may have different sensitivity to different frequencies of magnetic fields, but there may be potential differences due to age, gender, and health status. Low frequency magnetic fields are believed to have positive effects on humans, however, high frequencies may cause stress reactions to human regulatory systems [,]. To this purpose, we investigated correlations between the changes in geomagnetic fields in different frequency ranges and hospital admissions. The Schumann resonances at different locations over a six-day period are shown in Figure 2 [].