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Life Expectancy Negatively Correlates with Disaster Risk Index

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 May 2019

Shinichi Egawa
Affiliation:
Division of International Cooperation for Disaster Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Yayoi Nakamura
Affiliation:
Division of International Cooperation for Disaster Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Tomomi Suda
Affiliation:
Division of International Cooperation for Disaster Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Hiroyuki Sasaki
Affiliation:
Division of International Cooperation for Disaster Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
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Abstract

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Introduction:

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, for the first time, describes how disaster affects the health of people. Japan is prone to natural hazards, but at the same time, Japan has achieved one of the highest life expectancies (LE) in the world. After experiencing many disasters, Japan seems to have achieved resilience against disasters. Thus, we tested a hypothesis that high LE correlates with low disaster risk.

Methods:

We compared LE from the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Health Observatory and the Index for Risk Management’s (INFORM) disaster risk index, or World Risk Index (WRI), of each country using JMP software. INFORM risk index varies from 0-10, while WRI varies from 0-1, where a higher value means higher disaster risk in both systems. INFORM risk index considers hazard and exposure, vulnerability, lack of coping capacity, and lack of reliability. WRI considers exposure, susceptibility, lack of coping capacity, and lack of adaptive capacity, including logarithmized LE as a part of adaptive capacity.

Results:

The overall INFORM risk index was negatively correlated with LE (p<0:0001). Although natural hazard did not correlate with LE (p=0.7), the human hazard, vulnerability, and lack of coping capacity negatively correlated with LE (p<0.0001, respectively). Health-related indicators, which confirm the vulnerability and lack of coping capacity, were negatively correlated with LE. Cluster analysis of LE and INFORM risk of six categories resulted in four clusters of countries, suggesting that health development and disaster risk reduction are independent determinants. WRI also correlated with LE, but there are many outliers compared to the INFORM risk index.

Discussion:

High LE can be a good complementary indicator of low disaster risk. Strategies to achieve better health that contribute to high LE are also effective and important strategies for disaster risk reduction.

Type
Risk and Planning
Copyright
© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2019