Study Finds That Apollo Astronauts Suffered From Higher Rates of Heart Disease Due to Space Radiation


The rarified group of men who blasted off from Earth on the Apollo missions in the 1960s and 70s have suffered from much higher rates of death by cardiovascular disease than not only other astronauts, but a slice of the U.S. population as a whole, a new study finds.

Researchers looked at the rate of death from cardiovascular disease among astronauts who never flew in space, went to space but stayed in low-Earth orbit, and the Apollo astronauts, who went further away from Earth than anyone else. Of the 24 Apollo astronauts who flew into deep space, eight have died and seven were included in the study. The eighth astronaut – Edgar Mitchell – died after the data analysis had been completed.

That’s much higher than the other groups the researchers considered. Astronauts who never flew, or who flew in low-Earth orbit, had much lower rates of death from heart disease than the Apollo astronauts. And, for those non-Apollo astronauts, the rates of death from cardiovascular disease were much lower than death from Americans in general between the ages of 55 and 64.

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SOURCE: Fox News, Rob Verger