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Full moon not linked to behavior.

Full Moon Not Linked to Behavior

The belief that the phases of the moon affect human behavior has waxed and waned throughout the ages; however, a group of Pennsylvania researchers assert that the theory has no scientific basis.

Their findings are based on a study of 1,444 trauma victims admitted to Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, during periods of a full moon. Wendy Coates, M.D., and colleagues defined full moons as three-day periods, the middle day of which was described in the world almanac as a full moon.

Blunt assaults, gunshot wounds, and stabbings comprised the violent crimes. About 3.6 trauma patients a day were admitted on full moon days (129 patients in 36 days), compared with about four a day on non-full moon days (1,325 patients in 330 days). Further, the average length of stay was about the same, with those injured during a full moon remaining in the hospital for 10 days and those admitted on non-full moon days staying for 12 days.

"Despite the allure of the legends of the full moon, a statistical analysis does not support its correlation with trauma or violence," the researchers concluded. However, they admitted that the "mere perseverance of the word `lunatic' indicates the acceptance of this popular belief ..." and that the moon will probably "remain a scapegoat and a focus of literary attention for centuries to come." Annals of Internal Medicine July 7, 1989; 18:763-765.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:study of trauma victims
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Sep 22, 1989
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