Last Published:  07/29/22 01:33:20 PM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open
Present state of knowledge: Pre-clinical manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including carotid intima-media thickening, vascular dysfunction, and increased vascular stiffness, develop during low Earth orbit weightlessness. Further, current data are supportive of increased levels of oxidative stress and inflammation during spaceflight, factors that are associated with the development of cardiovascular disease on Earth, but a causal link with cardiovascular adaptations during spaceflight has not been established. Recent observations on ISS of flow restrictions and thrombi formation in the left Jugular vein is of particular concern. Other risk factors that develop during spaceflight, including altered or inadequate sleep, increased levels of psychological stress, impaired glucose metabolism, and sustained dilation of cardiac chambers, may contribute to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. While recovery to pre-spaceflight cardiovascular risk profile has not been established, epidemiological evidence is not suggestive of an earlier time to cardiovascular disease-related event in the astronaut population. Prospective research has been limited largely to spaceflight missions of 4-6 months, and astronauts from these missions have not been followed long enough after their mission to define the long-term health consequences of long-duration weightlessness. To date, an insufficient number of women astronauts have been studied to understand sex effects.

The spaceflight environment also leads to cardiovascular deconditioning which contributes to orthostatic intolerance and decreased exercise capacity

Research approach
: Ground analogs using cell cultures (bioreactors), animal models (hind-limb suspension), and human subjects (bed rest) will be used as well as long-duration flights of cells/animals/humans in LEO. Occupational surveillance and data mining of medical records of previously flown astronauts of various durations will also be done. In close collaboration with the SANS team and Space Medicine, flow restrictions and coagulation effects of weightlessness in neck and head veins (e. g. Jugular) will be investigated, as well as 0 G induced changes by parabolic flights to understand mechanical and anatomical causes. Also in close collaboration with the SANS team, partial-G exposures during parabolic flights and Gateway/Lunar missions will be exploited to determine dose-response relationships between fluid shifts and G-levels.
Target for Closure
Understanding whether long-duration weightlessness per se predisposes to structural and functional cardiovascular changes of concern for development of later disease, and whether OSaD and inflammation are underlying causes.
Risk Risk of Cardiovascular Adaptations Contributing to Adverse Mission Performance and Health Outcomes
You are here! Gap CV-101: Determine whether long-duration weightlessness induces cardiovascular structural and functional changes and/or oxidative stress & damage (OSaD)/inflammation, that can contribute to development of disease.

Multi-Disciplinary Research Plans

No Documentation Available