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Am J Cardiol. 2013 Jul 1;112(1):94-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.02.057. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Clinical features of patients with decompensated heart failure after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology and Hematology, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan.


The occurrence of heart failure (HF) and its clinical features after a great disaster have not been rigorously examined. We retrospectively examined the effect of the Great East Japan Earthquake on the occurrence of decompensated HF. The number of patients admitted for treatment of decompensated HF and their clinical features were compared between 2 periods, March 11, 2011 to September 10, 2011 (after the earthquake) and the same period in the previous year. The number of admissions increased from 55 in 2010 to 84 in 2011. A comparison of the clinical features showed that the patients admitted after the earthquake had (1) older age (p = 0.031), (2) greater systolic blood pressure (p = 0.039), (3) a greater incidence of new-onset HF due to valvular heart disease (p = 0.040), (4) interruption of drugs (p = 0.001), (5) a greater incidence of infection (p = 0.019), (6) greater B-type natriuretic peptide (p = 0.005) and C-reactive protein (p = 0.003) levels, (7) a lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (p = 0.048) and lower albumin levels (p = 0.021), and (8) a larger diameter of the inferior vena cava (p = 0.008). In conclusion, these results suggest that the earthquake increased the incidence of HF in association with high blood pressure, interruption of drugs, inflammation, malnutrition, and fluid retention. Taking appropriate measures to control blood pressure, nutritional status, and hygiene environment might decrease the occurrence of HF in future disasters.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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