Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/22/solar_flare_stroke/

Doctor links solar flares to strokes

These coronal mass ejections are doin' me bleedin' 'ead in

By Lester Haines

Posted in Science, 22nd May 2006 14:38 GMT

A Slovakia doctor claims to have linked peak solar flare activity to an increase in strokes and brain haemorrhages, Reuters reports.

Dr Michal Kovac started probing incidence of strokes in southern Slovakia's Nove Zamky back in the 1980s "after observing unexplained increases in stroke patients on certain days, weeks, months and years". He subsequently discovered a correlation between 11 year peaks in coronal mass ejections and strokes.

Kovac also found that fewer people suffered strokes when the moon was at its apogee. His findings, published in the Bratislava Medical Journal further the idea that people are physically affected by "fluctuations in the earth's geomagnetic field".

No precise explanation is forthcoming, however. Kovac said: "We see a correlation between the human body and lunar and solar phenomena, even if we don't know exactly what explains the connection."

The last phase of high solar flare activity was back in 2000-2001. Kovak noted: "That means we have four more years in the cycle. Then we'll be busy again." ®