Effects of socioeconomic factors on cardiovascular-related symptoms among residents in Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake: A cross-sectional study using data from the Fukushima Health Management Survey

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

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective To investigate the association between socioeconomic factors and the exacerbation of cardiovascular symptoms among evacuees after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Methods A sample of 73 433 individuals was included in the Fukushima Health Management Survey. Self-report questionnaires were used to determine the influence of socioeconomic factors including living arrangements, loss of employment and decreased income on the exacerbation of headache, dizziness, palpitations and shortness of breath. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs of the effect of socioeconomic factors were estimated for each symptom using multiple logistic regression analyses. Results Exacerbation of headaches was reported by 1893 individuals, dizziness by 1229, palpitations by 1085 and shortness of breath by 626 individuals. Evacuation accommodation was associated with all of these symptoms. Compared with participants living in their own home (OR=1.00), individuals living in relatives' homes had increased probability of experiencing exacerbation of headache (1.58; 95% CI 1.19 to 2.09) and dizziness (1.42; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.98); those living in rental housing or apartments experienced exacerbation of headache (1.54; 95% CI 1.32 to 1.80), dizziness (1.45; 95% CI 1.20 to 1.75), palpitations (1.25; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.51) and shortness of breath (1.76; 95% CI 1.35 to 2.28); participants living in evacuation shelters experienced exacerbation of headache (1.80; 95% CI 1.09 to 2.96); and refugees living in temporary housing also experienced exacerbation of headache (1.42; 95% CI 1.15 to 1.72), dizziness (1.40; 95% CI 1.09 to 1.79) and shortness of breath (1.49; 95% CI 1.07 to 2.08). Compared with the evacuees who retained their jobs, unemployed individuals showed increased probability of exacerbation of headache (1.28, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.46), dizziness (1.26, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.48) and palpitations (1.21, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.45). Decreased income was associated with exacerbation of headache (1.39, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.60). Conclusion After the earthquake, living in non-home conditions was more likely to result in exacerbated cardiovascular symptoms among evacuees. Loss of employment was another risk factor related to exacerbated headache and dizziness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014077
JournalBMJ open
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1

Keywords

  • Great East Japan Earthquake
  • cardiovascular symptoms
  • socioeconomic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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