Background: Chronic diseases increase the risk of unemployment even in non-disaster settings; therefore, in post-disaster settings, special attention needs to be paid to the employment status of those suffering from chronic diseases. Aims: To examine the association between chronic disease and the risk of unemployment in a disaster area.Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Shichigahama Town, Miyagi, north-eastern Japan, where had been severely inundated by the 2011 tsunami. Logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the association between undergoing medical treatment for a combination of chronic diseases (stroke, cancer, myocardial infarction and angina) and unemployment risk. Confounders such as psychological distress and levels of daily life activity were considered. Results: Among the 2588 individuals studied, there was a statistically significant association between undergoing medical treatment for chronic disease and the risk of unemployment [odds ratio (OR) = 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-2.7, P < 0.05]. In participants with a lower degree of psychological distress and better levels of daily life activity (n = 1967), no significant associations were observed (OR = 1.1, 95% CI 0.6-2.1). Conversely, in 536 participants with a higher degree of psychological distress and/or poorer levels of daily life activity, statistically significant associations were found (OR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.01-6.6, P < 0.05). Conclusions: The association between undergoing medical treatment for chronic disease and unemployment risk was observed only in participants with a higher degree of psychological distress and/or poorer levels of daily life activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health