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Asia Pac J Public Health. 2017 Mar;29(2_suppl):47S-55S. doi: 10.1177/1010539517695436.

Changes in Cardiovascular Risk Factors After the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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1 Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan.
2 Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011, and was followed by a nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The government ordered a mandatory evacuation from the high radioactive concentration area in Fukushima. This evacuation may have forced many evacuees to change specific aspects of their lifestyles such as diet and physical activity, which in turn may lead to future incidence of lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). To address this concern, the association between the evacuation and changes in CVD risk factors before and after the disaster was examined in the Fukushima Health Management Survey. In the present study, we reviewed the results of longitudinal studies in the Fukushima Health Management Survey. The proportion of overweight/obese people and those with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, liver dysfunction, atrial fibrillation, and polycythemia increased after the disaster. Furthermore, the evacuation was associated with an increase of these cardiovascular risk factors. Therefore, evacuees may be more disposed to CVDs such as myocardial infarction and stroke after the disaster. The prevention of future CVDs among evacuees from Fukushima requires ongoing preventive programs for obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia, in collaboration with local governments and communities.


epidemiology; non-communicable diseases; population studies; psychological/behavioral medicine; social determinants of health

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