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We aimed to investigate the association between types of housing and allergic symptoms at 3–4 years following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Our study was based on the ToMMo Child Health Study conducted in 2014 and 2015, a cross-sectional survey of public school children in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Of the 46 648 invited schoolchildren in the 2nd to 8th grades, 9884 were included. Presence of eczema, wheezing, and mental health symptoms was defined with questionnaires. To calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs for the associations between types of housing and eczema or respiratory symptoms, we fitted generalized linear mixed models, included a random effect for municipality of residence, and adjusted for sex, school grade, survey year, and mental health symptoms.
Prefabricated temporary housing was significantly associated with eczema symptoms (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.06–2.02). Even after adjusting for the presence of mental health symptoms, our analysis produced similar results (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.03–1.96). Conversely, it was not significantly associated with respiratory symptoms (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.61–1.54).
Children living in prefabricated temporary housing had a higher prevalence of eczema symptoms; however, prevalence of respiratory symptoms was not significantly higher.
This study examined the association between psychological distress and the risk of withdrawing from hypertension treatment (HTTx) 1 year after the earthquake disaster in the coastal area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE).
Using cross-sectional data from 2012, we studied people over 20 years of age living in Shichigahama Town, Miyagi, on the northeastern coast of Japan, which had been severely inundated by the tsunami that followed the GEJE in 2011. A total of 1014 subjects were categorized as in need of HTTx. Withdrawing from HTTx was assessed by using a self-reported questionnaire.
Subjects with a higher degree of psychological distress (Kessler-6 [K6] score ≥ 13) exhibited a significantly higher risk of withdrawing from HTTx, compared with subjects with a lower degree of psychological distress (K6 score ≤ 12; odds ratio=4.0; 95% confidence interval: 1.3-10.6, P<0.01).
This study indicated that psychological distress is a risk factor for withdrawing from HTTx in post-disaster settings. Our data suggested that the increased risk of withdrawing from HTTx associated with post-disaster psychological distress may underlie the increased prevalence of vascular diseases after the earthquake disaster in coastal areas affected by the tsunami. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:179–182)
The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 may have influenced the long-term health of those in the disaster area. It is important to collect current and future health information of the people living in the post-disaster area to provide appropriate health support and quality-oriented care. However, public perceptions of health and genomic studies in the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster area are still unknown.
A questionnaire survey was conducted in one town affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The results of the questionnaire were tailed and the differences in responses to each question were assessed by sex and age.
In 284 eligible people (137 men, 147 women), almost all participants agreed to join a health survey investigating the adverse effects of the disaster, and over 80% of the total participants agreed to genomic analysis. Over 70% of the participants wanted to receive pharmacogenetic testing and to receive feedback on which medications were suitable or unsuitable for them.
Most people living in the disaster area are interested in health surveys. Most of the participants also showed interest in genomic analysis.
IshikuroM, NakayaN, ObaraT, SatoY, MetokiH, KikuyaM, TsuchiyaN, NakamuraT, NagamiF, KuriyamaS, HozawaA, the ToMMo Study Group. Public Attitudes toward an Epidemiological Study with Genomic Analysis in the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster Area. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(3):330–334.
Physical disease patients are known to experience high levels of psychological distress. This study examined the association between the medical treatment of physical diseases and psychological distress in the coastal area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Using cross-sectional data, we studied 3032 individuals aged ≥40 years who lived in Shichigahama, Miyagi, Japan. We examined the associations between 8 medical treatments for physical diseases and psychological distress, defined as Kessler Psychological Distress scale score ≥13 of 24 points. To investigate the associations, we performed multiple logistic regression analyses.
There were statistically significant associations between psychological distress and medical treatments for myocardial infarction/angina pectoris (odds ratio [OR]=1.8, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.0-3.0) and liver disease (OR=3.1, 95% CI=1.0-7.7). The other 4 medical treatments for physical diseases had ORs of 1.3 or higher and were positively associated with psychological distress: cancer, hyperlipidemia, kidney disease, and diabetes mellitus. The degree of damage to homes did not affect the association between most of the medical treatments for physical diseases and psychological distress.
In the disaster area, most of the medical treatments for physical diseases had positive associations with psychological distress, irrespective of the degree of damage to homes. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:374–381)
When disasters that affect a wide area occur, external medical relief teams play a critical role in the affected areas by helping to alleviate the burden caused by surging numbers of individuals requiring health care. Despite this, no system has been established for managing deployed medical relief teams during the subacute phase following a disaster.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the Ishinomaki Medical Zone was the most severely-affected area. Approximately 6,000 people died or were missing, and the immediate evacuation of approximately 120,000 people to roughly 320 shelters was required. As many as 59 medical teams came to participate in relief activities. Daily coordination of activities and deployment locations became a significant burden to headquarters. The Area-based/Line-linking Support System (Area-Line System) was thus devised to resolve these issues for medical relief and coordinating activities.
A retrospective analysis was performed to examine the effectiveness of the medical relief provided to evacuees using the Area-Line System with regards to the activities of the medical relief teams and the coordinating headquarters. The following were compared before and after establishment of the Area-Line System: (1) time required at the coordinating headquarters to collect and tabulate medical records from shelters visited; (2) time required at headquarters to determine deployment locations and activities of all medical relief teams; and (3) inter-area variation in number of patients per team.
The time required to collect and tabulate medical records was reduced from approximately 300 to 70 minutes/day. The number of teams at headquarters required to sort through data was reduced from 60 to 14. The time required to determine deployment locations and activities of the medical relief teams was reduced from approximately 150 hours/month to approximately 40 hours/month. Immediately prior to establishment of the Area-Line System, the variation of the number of patients per team was highest. Variation among regions did not increase after establishment of the system.
This descriptive analysis indicated that implementation of the Area-Line System, a systematic approach for long-term disaster medical relief across a wide area, can increase the efficiency of relief provision to disaster-stricken areas.
YamanouchiS, IshiiT, MorinoK, FurukawaH, HozawaA, OchiS, KushimotoS. Streamlining of Medical Relief to Areas Affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake with the “Area-based/Line-linking Support System”Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(6):1-9.
Adequate fruit and vegetable intake has been suggested to protect against colorectal cancer. However, several recent prospective studies have reported no association. We therefore examined the association between fruit and vegetable intakes and the risk of colorectal cancer in a prospective cohort study in Japan.
Between June and August 1990, 47 605 Japanese men and women completed a self-administered questionnaire, including a food-frequency questionnaire. We divided the subjects into quartiles based on their self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption. There were 165 colon cancer and 110 rectal cancer incidences identified during 7 years of follow-up, to the end of December 1997. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate the relative risk (RR) of developing colorectal cancer according to the level of fruit and vegetable consumption, applying adjustments for potential confounders.
No statistically significant association was observed between fruit and vegetable consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer. The multivariate RR of colon cancer in the highest quartile of fruit and vegetable intake compared with the lowest was 1.13 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73–1.75), the RR for vegetables alone was 1.24 (95% CI 0.79–1.95) and that for fruit alone was 1.45 (95% CI 0.85–2.47). The corresponding multivariate RRs for rectal cancer were 1.12 (95% CI 0.67–1.89), 1.14 (95% CI 0.67–1.93) and 1.41 (95% CI 0.73–2.73).
We found no association between the consumption of fruit and vegetables and the risk of colorectal cancer among the Japanese population.