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Plainview Cardiologist Reviews Lunar Cycles

Chief of Heart Failure Services at North Shore-LIJ In Plainview Dr. David Friedman recently reviewed a scientific study conducted at the Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals on a possible link between successful heart surgery and the lunar cycles - and found the results to be “tantalizing.”

Submitting his take on the study to a health website, the study investigated the potential impact of lunar cycles on survival and the length of time a patient remains in the hospital following an aortic dissection repair, which is when a tear in the inner wall of the aorta causes blood to flow between layers of the aorta’s wall.

The study, which was posted online through Oxford Journals, listed the conclusion as: “Season had no effect on mortality or LOS (length of stay) following aortic dissection repair, while patient age significantly increased the odds of death. The full-moon cycle appeared to reduce the odds of death, and the full-moon cycle, along with being male and requiring a concomitant cardiac procedure, was associated with shorter LOS.”

“Based on some decent literature over the years, its generally accepted in the medical community regarding a temporal association of time of the year, day of the week, and even time of day of being higher risk periods of poor cardiac events such as heart attacks,” Dr. Friedman said in an interview with the Herald.  “I used the term 'tantalizing' to suggest the notion of the lunar influence on what these researchers were investigating, namely aortic surgical repair data.

Dr. Friedman said the data is “suggestive of better aoritc repair outcomes with a certain moon cycle,” and considered it to be “out of reach” and “needs to be better studied and more thoroughly verified.”

“I find it interesing to see that researchers are again looking at possible circadian body rhtyms of life and trying to link to a larger ecosystem,”  Dr. Friedman said.  “Although it stands to some plausible association of the full moon cycle and possible worse surgical and cardiac outcomes, these researchers found some better surgical aortic repair outcomes and shorter hospital length of stays during this timeframe, which on the surface - I  don’t think makes much sense.”

A full time NSLIJ Cardiologist, Dr. Friedman works in an office in Woodbury, and will soon be moving to another hospital and facility within the NSLIJ system.