The influence of the Great East Japan earthquake on microscopic polyangiitis: A retrospective observational study

Yoichi Takeuchi, Ayako Saito, Yoshie Ojima, Saeko Kagaya, Hirotaka Fukami, Hiroyuki Sato, Ken Matsuda, Tasuku Nagasawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis is triggered by environmental factors, including silica dust exposure. Repeated tsunami waves brought a large volume of silica-containing sludge inland after the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011. We aimed to determine if the serious disaster influenced the clinical features of the microscopic polyangiitis. Methods: This is an observational retrospective study conducted in a single institute. A total of 43 patients were included based on the CHCC2012 criteria for microscopic polyangiitis from 2007 to 2015. We used the Poisson regression model to determine the incidence of microscopic polyangiitis within the annual population of the medical district. The participants were selected during a 3-year period from before (N = 13) to after the disaster (N = 20). The differences of parameters and the overall survival between the groups were analyzed. Results: The incidence of microscopic polyangiitis increased after the disaster (λ = 17.4/million/year [95%CI: 7.66-39.6] before the disaster and λ = 33.1/million/year [17.7-61.7] after the disaster, P = 0.044). A high Birmingham Activity Score was associated with a high incidence of microscopic polyangiitis after the disaster. The overall survival of the patients with microscopic polyangiitis declined significantly after the disaster. Conclusions: The Great East Japan earthquake influenced the development of the microscopic polyangiitis in our restricted area. The patients who developed after the disaster had severe symptoms and a high mortality rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0177482
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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