Of course, we have all heard the full moon makes people barking mad and creates chaos in the ED.
“It must be
a full moon!”
out of Melbourne looked at ED patient records over 3 years and compared the
rate of “occupational violence and aggression” with the lunar cycle divided
into quarters; new moon, first quarter, full moon and third quarter. Then they performed
logistic regression to determine the association between the cycle and rates of
In the end,
they had 184,059 patients who presented to the ED over three years. It turns
out that violence and aggression was NOT associated with a full moon but
it was statistically associated with the first quarter
(adjusted OR 1.38; P<0.01) and the third quarter (adjusted OR 1.29,
you have it…
discussion, the authors provide physiologic justification for the observed
association based on some brilliant quotes from “prominent astrologers
Dana Gerhardt and Dane Rudhyar.”
rational side of us knows this is completely nuts… just as we know that the
transit of Venus doesn’t cause urinary retention and a meteor shower doesn’t cure
article appeared in Emergency Medicine Australasia. It did not appear in a
predatory journal or the Christmas edition of BMJ. It was delivered in “dead
pan” without even a hint of a wink at the end.
But the authors
knew exactly what they were doing. And it provides us with a couple of
can get things wrong.
I’m sure if
the authors looked at the association of astrological birth signs (i.e. ISIS-2)
with violence they would have found some statistically significant results; Capricorn
and Leo were hot heads, but Gemini calm as a cucumber.
We need to be reasonably skeptical of the medical literature. Much of what gets published turns out to be false.
Thanks to these authors for getting it right… wink… wink…
Teung T, O’Reilly
G, Mitra B, Olaussen A. Lunacy in a tertiary emergency department: A 3 year cohort
study of the association between moon cycles and occupational violence and
aggression. Emerg Med Aus. https://doi.org/10.1111/1742-6723.13601