A massive natural disaster, the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the incidence of dialysis due to end-stage kidney disease

Michiaki Abe, Tetsuya Akaishi, Koto Ishizawa, Hirohisa Shinano, Hiroshi Ohtomo, Kazuhiko Orikasa, Shin Takayama, Atsuko Masaura, Mariko Miyazaki, Takaaki Abe, Kenichi Yokota, Tadashi Ishii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Disaster-related stress can increase blood pressure and the incidence of cardiovascular diseases. However, the role of massive disasters in the development of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) remains unknown. We investigated the incidence and different causes of dialysis initiation in patients with chronic kidney disease in a city affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective observational study. All patients who initiated or were treated with dialysis at Kesennuma City Hospital between 2007 and 2020 were enrolled. The year of dialysis initiation was retrospectively determined based on the initiation date. The causative renal diseases that led to the need for dialysis initiation were divided into four groups: diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive renal disease, glomerulonephritis, and others. Results: Age at dialysis initiation differed significantly among the four groups (p = 0.0262). There was a significant difference in the numbers of the four groups before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake (p = 0.0193). The age of hypertensive renal disease patients was significantly higher than those of patients with diabetic nephropathy (p = 0.0070) and glomerulonephritis (p = 0.0386) after the disaster. The increasing number of dialysis initiations after the Great East Japan Earthquake appeared to be associated with changes in hypertensive renal diseases; the number peaked after 10 years. Conclusions: There was an increase in the number of dialysis initiations, especially caused by hypertensive renal diseases, for up to 10 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-724
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr


  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Dialysis initiation
  • End-stage kidney disease
  • Hypertensive renal disease
  • Massive natural disaster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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