A report from Fukushima: an assessment of bone health in an area affected by the Fukushima nuclear plant incident

J Bone Miner Metab. 2013 Nov;31(6):613-7. doi: 10.1007/s00774-013-0482-5. Epub 2013 Aug 8.


Bone health was assessed for inhabitants of an area affected by the Fukushima nuclear plant incident. Osteoporotic patients, who had been treated with active vitamin D3 and/or bisphosphonate at Soma Central Hospital before the Fukushima incident, were enrolled. Changes in bone turnover markers and bone mineral density were retrospectively analyzed. Serum levels of a bone resorption marker, serum type I collagen cross-linked N-telopeptide were decreased in all the treated groups, whereas those of a bone formation marker, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, were increased. Accordingly, bone mineral density, estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, was increased in the lumbar spine of all groups, but bone mass increase in the proximal femur was detected only in the group treated with the two agents in combination. From the degree of these parameter changes, the antiosteoporotic treatments looked effective and were equivalent to the expected potency of past observations. At this stage, the present study implies that the Fukushima nuclear incident did not bring an acute risk to bone health in the affected areas.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Bone Density
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Femur / metabolism
  • Femur / radiation effects*
  • Fukushima Nuclear Accident
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / metabolism
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / radiation effects*
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / metabolism
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • Collagen Type I
  • Peptides
  • collagen type I trimeric cross-linked peptide
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Alkaline Phosphatase