Helloo everyone! Here’s an informative article about long-term spaceflight that causes many consequences to cardiovascular system.
The article written by Vernice, Meydan, Afshinnekoo, and Mason in 2020 discussed the effects of long-term spaceflight on the cardiovascular system.
According to the researchers, long-term exposure to microgravity and radiation has significant impacts on the cardiovascular system, including substantial cephalad fluid transfer and changed arterial pressure, both of which weaken the blood pressure regulating mechanisms and increase cardiac output. Aside from that, the absence of venous compression lowers central venous pressure.
There was a report that during the Apollo era (1961-1972), astronaut James Benson Irwan experienced premature ventricular contractions related to hypokalemia during the Apollo 15 mission. That is why, the other concern of NASA about long-term spaceflight is the possibility of cardiac arrhythmias, or abnormalities in the regular sequence of the electrical impulses necessary for coordinated atrial and ventricular contraction.
Overall, more investigations or study into the effects of long-term spaceflight, such as epigenetic and genetic changes caused by radiation, stress, or microgravity, is needed to fully inform NASA and other groups on how to develop preventative countermeasures against the potential harms that exploratory travel might cause to an astronaut bound for any planet beyond our own.
Vernice, N. A., Meydan, C., Afshinnekoo, E., & Mason, C. E. (2020). Long-term spaceflight and the cardiovascular system. Precision Clinical Medicine, 3(4), 284–291. https://doi.org/10.1093/pcmedi/pbaa022