Impact of the great east japan earthquake on the employment status and mental health conditions of affected coastal communities

Mitsuaki Katayanagi, Moe Seto, Naoki Nakaya, Tomohiro Nakamura, Naho Tsuchiya, Akira Narita, Mana Kogure, Yumi Sugawara, Akira Kodaka, Yusuke Utsumi, Hitomi Usukura, Yasuto Kunii, Atsushi Hozawa, Ichiro Tsuji, Hiroaki Tomita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Great East Japan Earthquake devasted the old community in coastal areas characterized by primary industry. The number of unemployed people increased from 150,000 to 190,000 after the earthquake. All of the adult residents of Shichigahama (18 years old or older), located in the coastal area of the Miyagi prefecture, whose houses were totally or majorly damaged, were recruited for a survey conducted in October 2011. All of the residents who responded with written informed consent were included in this study. Among 904 individuals who had a job before the Great East Japan Earthquake, 19% became unemployed. Concerning gender and age, 9% of young men, 34% of elderly men, 21% of young women, and 49% of elderly women became unemployed. Concerning the type of industry, 38%, 15%, and 16% of people who had belonged to the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries, respectively, before the disaster became unemployed. Those who became unemployed exhibited a significantly higher risk of insomnia compared to those who maintained jobs. The study pointed out the severe impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake on populations who had belonged to the primary industry, especially among elderly women, and its effect on sleep conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8130
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1


  • Cross-sectional study
  • Disaster
  • Employment status
  • Mental health
  • Structural industry characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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