A major earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck northeastern Japan at 2:46 pm on 11 March 2011. Several reports have described transient increases in blood pressure after major earthquakes, but the impact of such increases on hemodialysis patients has not been reported. We retrospectively investigated changes in blood pressure and influencing factors in 205 patients (mean age 66.6±13.0 years; male 51.7%; median dialysis vintage 6.0 (2.0-11.0) years) on chronic dialysis at three dialysis centers in the affected area (Fukushima City) for 8 weeks after the earthquake. Pre-dialysis blood pressure was significantly elevated at 1 week after the earthquake compared with baseline (systolic vs. diastolic blood pressure: 153.1±20.2/80. 1±13.5 vs. 148.6±20.0/77.5±12.8 mm Hg, P<0.001), similarly post-dialysis blood pressure was elevated for up to 8 weeks. Independent factors influencing changes in blood pressure after the earthquake comprised baseline blood pressure and -blockers. The earthquake induced a significant elevation in blood pressure among patients on chronic dialysis, and activation of the sympathetic nervous system might at least in part be associated with the mechanism underlying this increase.
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