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Solar Energy at Birth and Human Lifespan


Solar Energy at Birth and Human Lifespan

George E Davis Jr et al. J Photochem Photobiol B.


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of UVR at birth and its relationship to lifespan and determine whether there are significant differential effects on sex and race. We test if variation in UVR, as determined by solar cycles (long-term variation), is related to survival as measured by age at death.

Methods: The data used 78 million death records from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) from 1979 to 2013 with accidents, suicides, and war casualties deleted resulted in ~63 million records. Records of persons ≤ 47 years old were also scrubbed because we could not show an effect on lifespan based upon the intensity of solar energy as reflected by sunspot number (SSN). This we hypothesize is due to the protective effect of the hormones associated with growth and reproduction. Also selected were persons afflicted with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Results: Males of all races born with a UVR intensity as estimated by sunspot number (SSN) ≤ 90 had an average lifespan of 74.4 years, for females of all races, 78.1 years; males born with >90 had an average lifespan of 66.3 years, for females of all races, 70.2 years, resulting in a lifespan decrease of 8.1 years for males and 8.5 years for females. For African-American males born ≤ 90 SSN, 70.8 years and for >90 SSN, 62.5 years, an 8.3-year decrease; similarly, for African-American females ≤ 90 SSN, 75.0, for >90 SSN, 65.4 years, a 9.6-year decrease. Higher solar energy at birth had an adverse effect on human lifespan. We also found that there were twice as many persons with MS born in >80-90 SSN as in the general population.

Conclusions: There is a statistically significant inverse relationship between exposure to solar energy at birth and average human lifespan. Solar energy by some mechanism alters the epigenome at birth, but the effect of higher solar energy becomes apparent after the age of natural selection.

Keywords: Epigenetics; Human lifespan; Multiple sclerosis; Solar energy; Sunspot number; Ultraviolet radiation.

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