Staying in a gravity-free environment for a long time can make the heart smaller

AA | Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – 15:57 | Last Updated: 30 03 2021 – 15:57

As the US Aviation and Space Agency (NASA) prepares to send people to Mars in 2030, a study of the physical effects of long time in space has found a new finding about the heart.

According to CNN’s report, American scientists found that the heart of retired astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent almost a year continuously on the International Space Station, shrank despite pedaling or doing endurance exercises 6 days a week.

Details of the study have been published in the American Heart Foundation journal “Circulation”.

Experts reported that the left ventricle of Scott Kelly’s heart lost 0.74 grams of volume per week during his 340 days in the ISI between March 27, 2015 and March 1, 2016.

On the other hand, it was pointed out that this loss of volume did not affect the function of the heart, and the shrinkage in Kelly’s heart was also observed in Benoit Lecomte, a long-distance swimmer who crossed the Pacific Ocean in 159 days in 2018.

It was emphasized that these two examples show that staying in an environment without gravity for a long time changes the structure of the heart, and low intensity exercise cannot prevent shrinkage.

Researcher Dr. Benjamin Levine, “If there is one thing I have learned from studies conducted over 25 years about how the heart adapts to space travel, exercise and high altitude, it is that the heart is a highly harmonious organ and responds to the demands of its location.” made its evaluation.

Scientists emphasized that they have only studied two people doing extraordinary work, and more research is needed to understand how the human body reacts to extraordinary situations.