Association between psychological distress and dietary intake among evacuees after the Great East Japan Earthquake in a cross-sectional study: The Fukushima Health Management Survey

Mayu Uemura, Tetsuya Ohira, Seiji Yasumura, Akira Otsuru, Masaharu Maeda, Mayumi Harigane, Naoko Horikoshi, Yuriko Suzuki, Hirooki Yabe, Hideto Takahashi, Masato Nagai, Hironori Nakano, Wen Zhang, Mayumi Hirosaki, Masafumi Abe

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11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective Psychological distress is generally associated with poor dietary intake, but this has never been investigated among residents after a major disaster. We attempted to reveal the associations between dietary intake and non-specific mental health distress as well as traumatic symptoms among evacuees after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Methods In this cross-sectional analysis of 63 047 evacuees (27 901 men, 35 146 women) who responded to The Fukushima Health Management Survey in 2012, non-specific mental health distress was assessed using the Kessler-6 (K6) scale, while traumatic symptoms were evaluated using the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist-Stressor-Specific Version (PCL-S). The outcome was low frequency-meaning a daily consumption in the 25th centile or less according to the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ)-of 19 targeted food items. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate ORs and 95% CIs adjusted for demographic, lifestyle-related and disaster-related factors. Results Of the participants, 14.7% suffered non-specific mental health distress, and 21.2% exhibited traumatic symptoms. Multivariable adjusted logistic regression analysis showed that the former were likely to have a low intake frequency of certain foods, such as rice and bread, fish, meat, vegetables or fruit (non-juice), soya bean products, milk, and yogurt or lactobacillus drinks; the latter were also likely to have a low intake frequency of certain foods, including rice and bread, fish, meat, vegetables (non-juice), milk and yogurt or lactobacillus drinks, but conversely consumed vegetable and fruit juices more often. These associations between dietary intake and non-specific mental health distress, as well as traumatic symptoms, were predominantly observed in women. Conclusions Psychological distress after the Great East Japan Earthquake among evacuees was associated with a low intake frequency of certain foods, and the association was predominantly observed in women.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere011534
JournalBMJ open
Volume6
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Diet
  • Epidemiology
  • Great East Japan Earthquake
  • Mental Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Uemura, M., Ohira, T., Yasumura, S., Otsuru, A., Maeda, M., Harigane, M., Horikoshi, N., Suzuki, Y., Yabe, H., Takahashi, H., Nagai, M., Nakano, H., Zhang, W., Hirosaki, M., & Abe, M. (2016). Association between psychological distress and dietary intake among evacuees after the Great East Japan Earthquake in a cross-sectional study: The Fukushima Health Management Survey. BMJ open, 6(7), [e011534]. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011534