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Full-Moon Cycle Favorable in Aortic Dissection Repair

Season not linked to mortality; full-moon cycle tied to lower odds of death, shorter length of stay
MONDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing ascending aortic dissection repair, season has no significant effect on mortality, while the full-moon cycle seems to be associated with reduced odds of death and a shorter length of stay (LOS), according to a study published online July 9 in Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.
Jeffrey H. Shuhaiber, M.B.B.S., from Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues examined the effect of the lunar cycle and seasonal variation on ascending aortic dissection surgery outcomes using data from two major centers within a single state from 1996 through 2011. Correlations were examined in two surgical groups: group A, including 109 patients with ascending aortic dissection repair only, and group B, comprising 101 patients with ascending aortic repair plus aortic valve surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery, or both.
The researchers found that the greatest percentage of deaths occurred in the winter (31.6 percent) and the least percentage of deaths occurred in the summer and fall (21.1 percent in each), but the difference in mortality for season was not significant (P = 0.55). In univariate analyses, only age and diabetes were significantly associated with mortality. After controlling for demographic and patient risk variables, season had no significant effect on mortality, while the odds of dying were significantly increased with age (odds ratio, 1.04) and significantly reduced in the full-moon versus new-moon cycle (odds ratio, 0.21). Significant correlations were seen for shorter LOS with group B, male gender, and the full-moon lunar phase.
"Acute aortic dissection repair performed in the waning full moon appeared to reduce the odds of death, and a full moon was associated with shorter LOS," the authors write.
Abstract (http://icvts.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/08/icvts.ivt299.abstract )Full Text (http://icvts.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/08/icvts.ivt299.full )
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