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We aimed to clarify the correlation between the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and pregnant women’s awareness of social capital 3 to 9 months after the tsunami disaster.
We analyzed data on responses to a questionnaire by 7451 pregnant women in their second to third trimesters. The proportions of social capital–related items were calculated in the north and south coastal areas of Miyagi Prefecture and were compared with national samples. The factors associated with social capital were estimated by use of multivariate logistic regression analyses.
The proportion of women feeling that they had helpful neighbors was higher (69.0% vs 56.7%, P=0.0005), the proportion of women regarding their communities as safe and secure was lower (51.7% vs 62.4%, P=0.002), and the proportion of women feeling that most people were trustworthy was lower (23.7% vs 32.9%, P=0.006) in the north coastal area than nationwide. Such differences were not observed in the less severely affected south coastal area. Age of 35 years or older, extended family, college or university graduation, and being multiparous were associated with the feeling of having helpful neighbors.
The current status of pregnant women’s awareness of social capital in disaster-affected areas was revealed. Continuous monitoring and support may be necessary to address this issue.(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:355–364)
This study aimed to clarify the correlation between the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and domestic violence (DV) against pregnant females after the disaster in Miyagi Prefecture, an area damaged by the earthquake and tsunami.
We analyzed 7600 pregnant females from June to December 2011. The incidence of physical and mental DV and the proportions in the inland, north coastal, and south coastal areas of Miyagi Prefecture and nationwide were calculated, and a chi-square test was conducted for comparison. The risk factors for DV were estimated with multivariate logistic regression analyses on a prefecture-wide basis.
The incidence levels for physical DV were found to be 5.9% in the north coastal area, which was significantly higher than in the inland area (1.3%, P=0.0007) and nationwide (1.5%, P<0.0001). There were no significant differences in the incidence of mental DV between the 3 areas in Miyagi Prefecture (inland 15.2%, north coast 15.7%, and south coast 18.8%) or nationwide (13.8%). Experiencing disease or injury in someone close and changes in the family structure were significantly associated with mental DV in Miyagi Prefecture.
Continuous monitoring and support for pregnant females may be necessary to address this issue in disaster-affected areas. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:216–226)
To examine whether an FFQ can be used for assessing exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) by estimating MeHg intake from seafood consumption using the FFQ and confirming the accuracy of the estimated value.
Seafood consumption of pregnant women was assessed using the FFQ. Total mercury (T-Hg) concentrations of maternal red blood cells (RBC) and hair were measured as exposure indices of MeHg.
A prospective birth cohort study, the Tohoku Study of Child Development (TSCD), which has been ongoing since 2001.
The subjects were 609 pregnant Japanese women who were enrolled in the TSCD.
MeHg intake was estimated from seafood consumption determined using the FFQ and the MeHg concentrations in each type of seafood. The accuracy of the estimated value was confirmed by comparison with T-Hg in RBC and hair. Estimated MeHg intake was 42·3 μg/week, and 43·0 % of that was from large predatory fish. Compared with the Japanese tolerable weekly intake, in total 12·5 % of the subjects exceeded it. T-Hg concentrations in RBC and hair were significantly correlated with estimated MeHg intake: r = 0·325 (P < 0·0001) for RBC and r = 0·305 (P < 0·0001) for hair.
Estimated MeHg intake based on the FFQ was significantly associated with T-Hg concentrations in RBC and hair. Although the estimated value involves uncertainties, the FFQ appears to be a useful tool for assessment of exposure to MeHg.
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