Objective Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including mental disorders, have become major threats to human health worldwide. People with NCDs are particularly vulnerable to disasters. We systematically reviewed reports describing studies of NCDs at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) to clarify the circumstances of people with NCDs and to build strong measures to support them.Methods Relevant articles published from March 2011 through December 2016 were collected by searching the PubMed database (National Library of Medicine). We specifically examined reports describing NCDs and including the key words East Japan Earthquake. NCDs included every disease type aside from injury and infectious disease.Results We collected 160 relevant articles, 41 of which described NCDs that existed in residents before the GEJE. Articles describing respiratory diseases and mental illnesses were found most frequently. Interruption of regular treatment was the most frequent problem, followed by lack of surveillance capacity. We found 101 reports describing NCDs that had developed after the GEJE, of which 60% were related to mental health issues.Conclusions NCDs pose major health issues after large-scale disasters. Establishment of strong countermeasures against interruption of treatment and surveillance systems to ascertain medical needs for NCDs are necessary to prepare for future disasters.
- Great East Japan Earthquake
- medical needs
- noncommunicable disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health