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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)
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)
∙Mental health working group supports the “proposed Key messages – People’s health” of the WHO. Proposed key messages are fundamental principles in support of health including mental health. Our work group’s statement builds on these principles to emphasize the importance of attending to mental health across all phases of Disaster Risk Management (DRM): prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.
∙Changing behaviors can affect a large outcome from disasters
∙Strategic and tactical approaches to include mental health in the curriculum
∙Strong emphasis on using WHO language to maintain the same universal terminology
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