Biological cycles with relatively long and some unusual periods in the range of the half-week, the half-year, years, or decades are being discovered. Their prior neglect constituted a confounder in aging and much other research, which then "flew blind" concerning the uncertainties associated with these cycles when they are not assessed. The resolution of more about 10-year and other cycles, some reported herein, replaces the admission of complete unpredictability, implied by using the label "secularity." Heretofore unaccounted-for variability becomes predictable insofar as it proves to be rhythmic and is mapped systematically to serve as a battery of useful reference values. About 10-year cycles in urinary 17-ketosteroid excretion and in heart rate and its variability, among others, are aligned with cycles of similar length in mortality from myocardial infarction. Associations accumulate between cycles of natural physical time structures, chronomes such as the 10.5-year (circadecennian) Schwabe and the 21-year (circavigintunennian) Hale cycles of solar activity, and chronomes in biota. There are about 50-year (circasemicentennian) cycles in mortality from stroke in Minnesota and in the Czech Republic and also in human morphology at birth, the latter result reducing the likelihood that these cycles are purely human made. Associations among large populations warrant long-term systematic coordinated sampling of natural physical and biological variables of interest for the design of countermeasures against already documented elevated risks of stroke, myocardial infarction, and other catastrophic diseases, notably in elderly adults. New findings will be introduced against the background of the documented value of mapping rhythms in medicine and gerontology. In both these fields, rhythms promise the seeming paradox of better care for less.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences|
|State||Published - 2001|