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New Study Reveals That Long Spaceflights Can "Shrink The Heart”

Researchers have found that long periods of time in space and extreme endurance swimming both cause the heart to shrink. This research is part of a study published in the American Heart Association's journal 'Circulation'. Scott Kelly spent 340 days aboard the ISS, and swimmer Benoît Lecomte swam across the Pacific Ocean in 159 days. While on the ISS, Kelly exercised for two hours a day, six days a week and Lecomte swam for six hours a day on average. The results show that long-term weightlessness alters the structure of the heart, causing shrinkage and atrophy. Low-intensity exercise is not enough to stop this from happening. Gravity helps the heart to maintain its size and function and keeps blood pumping around the body. Therefore, when gravity is replaced by weightlessness, the heart shrinks but its function remains “normal”. The hearts of both Kelly and Lecomte returned to normal once on land.
Provided by Video Elephant on Tuesday, March 30, 2021
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