Blood pressure among public employees after the Great East Japan Earthquake: The watari study

Satoshi Konno, Atsushi Hozawa, Masanori Munakata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUNDIncreases in blood pressure were reported in overworked public workers following the Mid-Niigata earthquake. This study aimed to compare blood pressure changes between public employees and the general population after the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011.METHODSWe analyzed 1,776 individuals from the general population and 240 public employees of the town of Watari who received medical check-ups in 2010 and from July 2011 through November 2011. Anthropometric parameters and sitting blood pressure were compared, and fasting blood samples were taken from all participants. In postdisaster measurements, the degrees of insomnia, depression, fatigue, and life disruption due to the disaster were assessed using a questionnaire. Information on the working hours of public employees was obtained from authorized sources.RESULTSAfter age-sex adjustments, the public employees showed greater increases in systolic (11.3 vs. -1.9mm Hg, P < 0.001) and diastolic (7.8 vs. 1.1mm Hg, P < 0.001) blood pressure than the general population when compared with measurements taken during the previous year. In contrast, the degrees of fatigue, depression, and life disruption were equivalent in the 2 groups. The average monthly overtime hours worked by public employees in March 2011 was 10-fold higher compared with the previous March.CONCLUSIONPublic employees showed greater and more prolonged increases in blood pressure than the general population after the Great East Japan earthquake. Thus blood pressure should be monitored after a great earthquake among public employees, and treatment should be considered if necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1063
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep


  • Great East Japan earthquake
  • blood pressure
  • disaster hypertension
  • hypertension
  • overtime work
  • public employees.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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