The effect of the lunar cycle on frequency of births and birth complications

Mountain Area Health Education Center, North Carolina, United States
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.7). 06/2005; 192(5):1462-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2004.12.034
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the lunar cycle on the frequency of deliveries and/or delivery complications.
This was a retrospective cohort, secondary analysis of 564,039 births across 62 lunar cycles that were identified from North Carolina birth certificate data from 1997 to 2001.
Using analysis of variance and t-tests, we found no significant differences in the frequency of births, route of delivery, births to multigravid women, or birth complications across the 8 phases of the moon or between documented high- and low-volume intervals of the lunar cycle.
An analysis of 5 years of data demonstrated no predictable influence of the lunar cycle on deliveries or complications. As expected, this pervasive myth is not evidence based.

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Available from: Shelley L Galvin
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    • "The effect of the lunar cycle on onset of parturition is even more controversial and, to our knowledge, there have been no veterinary studies on this topic. Studies of the lunar cycle and parturition in people have produced ambiguous results; most authors found no correlation between lunar phase and number of births (Arliss et al., 2005;Morton Pradhan et al., 2005;Kuss and Kuehn, 2008;Staboulidou et al., 2008) while one found a trend (Menaker, 1967) and others a significant association between lunar phase and onset of labor (Ghiandoni et al., 1998). The goal of this study was to investigate associations between multiple weather variables and lunar cycle and onset of parturition in cows. "
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    • "sample size . However , as mentioned in the ' Introduction ' , some researchers have been unable to show any significant difference between moon phases and some physiological and behavioral phenomena in humans ( Peters et al . 2001 ; Waldhoer et al . 2002 ; Alves et al . 2003 ; Holzheimer et al . 2003 ; Wolbank et al . 2003 ; Zargar et al . 2004 ; Arliss et al . 2005 ; Morton et al . 2005 ; Robert et al . 2006 ) . Our experience and ideas arising from different research in the fields demonstrate that this matter may have some methodological causes that respecting them would help the researchers in these fields :"
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    ABSTRACT: The present research aims to study the effects of moon phases on serum sodium and lithium levels in rabbits. Twenty-four male rabbits in two separated groups (sodium and lithium groups) were studied. In each study group, there were 12 rabbits, and 40 mg/kg lithium carbonate was orally administered to rabbits in one group on a daily basis. On days 1, 5, 9, 13, 15, 17, 21, and 25 of a lunar month, blood samples were taken from all rabbits. The highest mean of serum sodium levels was observed on the first day and the lowest mean was related to the 15th lunar day. Significant difference was noted between the 1st, 5th, 13th, and 17th days of the lunar month. In the lithium group, there was also a decreasing trend from the 1st to 17th lunar day in serum lithium level, but there was no statistical difference between lithium serum levels on different days of the lunar month. Fluctuations of bodily fluids under the influence of moon phases can be an effective factor in the changes in serum sodium levels. It is probable that due to small sample size we could not find significant difference in serum lithium levels.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Biological Rhythm Research
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    • "Several scientific studies have reported on the influence of moon phases on birth rates, birth complications, suicide, psychiatric crises, or outcome of surgery for breast cancer [4]. Since some studies underline significant influence of moon phases on human life [5,8-11], other reports have failed to confirm these results [2,4,12,13]. It is well known, that physiological processes of the organism, i.e. the endocrine system, the autonomic nerve system, the liberation of growth factors or the limbic system are influenced by the moon cycle [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Superstition is common and causes discomfiture or fear, especially in patients who have to undergo surgery for cancer. One superstition is, that moon phases influence surgical outcome. This study was performed to analyse lunar impact on the outcome following lung cancer surgery. 2411 patients underwent pulmonary resection for lung cancer in the past 30 years at our institution. Intra- and postoperative complications as well as long-term follow-up data were entered in our lung-cancer database. Factors influencing mortality, morbidity and survival were analyzed. Rate of intra-operative complications as well as rate of post-operative morbidity and mortality was not significantly affected by moon phases. Furthermore, there was no significant impact of the lunar cycle on long-term survival. In this study there was no evidence that outcome of surgery for lung cancer is affected by the moon. These results may help the physician to quiet the mind of patients who are somewhat afraid of wrong timing of surgery with respect to the moon phases. However, patients who strongly believe in the impact of moon phase should be taken seriously and correct timing of operations should be conceded to them as long as key-date scheduling doesn't constrict evidence based treatment regimens.
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