Long-Term Associations between Disaster Experiences and Cardiometabolic Risk: A Natural Experiment from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Koichiro Shiba, Hiroyuki Hikichi, Jun Aida, Katsunori Kondo, Ichiro Kawachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the association between disaster experience and the cardiometabolic risk of survivors 2.5 years after disaster onset, adjusting for health information predating the disaster, using natural experiment data stemming from the 2011Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.Weused data from a cohort of adults aged 65 years or older in Iwanuma City, Japan, located 80 km (128 miles) west of the earthquake epicenter. The baseline survey was completed 7months before the disaster, and the follow-up survey was performed among survivors approximately 2.5 years after the disaster. The survey data were linked to medical records with information on objectively measured cardiometabolic risk factors (n = 1,195). The exposure of interest was traumatic disaster experiences (i.e., housing damage and loss of loved ones). Fixed-effects regression showed that complete housing destruction was significantly associated with a 0.81-unit greater change in bodymass index (weight (kg)/height (m)2; 95%confidence interval (CI): 0.24, 1.38), a 4.26-cm greater change in waist circumference (95% CI: 1.12, 7.41), and a 4.77-mg/dL lower change in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level (95% CI: ?7.96, ?1.58) as compared with no housing damage.We also observed a significant association between major housing damage and decreased systolic blood pressure. Continued health checkups and supports for victims who lost homes should be considered to maintain their cardiometabolic health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1119
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume188
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 1

Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiometabolic Risk
  • Disasters
  • Fixed-Effect Analysis
  • Japan
  • Natural Experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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