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J Cardiol. 2013 Jul;62(1):25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2013.02.015. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Characteristics of heart failure associated with the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiology, Iwate Prefectural Central Hospital, Morioka, Iwate, Japan. AkihiroNakamura0223@msn.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

On March 11, 2011, the Tohoku district was struck by the most powerful known earthquake to hit Japan. Although stress-induced heart diseases rise after strong psychosocial stress, little is known about the characteristics of heart failure (HF) caused by psychosocial stress related to earthquakes.

METHODS:

We examined patients admitted to our hospital for HF during a three-week period between March 11 and March 31, 2011 (Disaster group) and compared them to patients during the corresponding period of 2010 (Non-Disaster group).

RESULTS:

The number of patients was larger in the Disaster group (n=30, 18 men, 12 women; mean age 77.3±9.8 years) than in the Non-Disaster group (n=16, 8 men, 8 women; mean age 77.3±11.6 years). A total of 14 of 30 patients (46.7%) in the Disaster group did not have past history of admission for HF, compared to 2 patients (12.5%) in the Non-Disaster group (p=0.02). The number of patients with hypertension was larger in the Disaster group than in the Non-Disaster group (53.3% vs. 37.5%, p=0.04). The number of patients with atrial fibrillation was also larger in the Disaster group than in the Non-Disaster group (56.7% vs. 25.0%, p=0.03). Left ventricular systolic ejection fraction (EF) did not differ between the Disaster and Non-Disaster groups (45.2±17.8% vs. 45.6±14.0%, p=0.46), however, the proportion of patients whose EF was more than 45% were significantly higher in the Disaster group more than in the Non-Disaster group (56.7% vs. 43.8%, p=0.04). The in-hospital mortality rate for patients in the Disaster group was higher than in the Non-Disaster group (20.0% vs. 6.3%, p=0.04).

CONCLUSION:

The incidence and in-hospital mortality rate of HF increased after the Great East Japan Earthquake, suggesting that psychosocial stress brought on by such a disaster could lead to the development of HF with preserved EF more than that with reduced EF.

KEYWORDS:

Earthquake; Heart failure; Japan; Stress

PMID:
23623140
DOI:
10.1016/j.jjcc.2013.02.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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