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Review
, 28 (4), 237-44

Emergency Responses and Health Consequences After the Fukushima Accident; Evacuation and Relocation

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Review

Emergency Responses and Health Consequences After the Fukushima Accident; Evacuation and Relocation

A Hasegawa et al. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol).

Abstract

The Fukushima accident was a compounding disaster following the strong earthquake and huge tsunami. The direct health effects of radiation were relatively well controlled considering the severity of the accident, not only among emergency workers but also residents. Other serious health issues include deaths during evacuation, collapse of the radiation emergency medical system, increased mortality among displaced elderly people and public healthcare issues in Fukushima residents. The Fukushima mental health and lifestyle survey disclosed that the Fukushima accident caused severe psychological distress in the residents from evacuation zones. In addition to psychiatric and mental health problems, there are lifestyle-related problems such as an increase proportion of those overweight, an increased prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus and dyslipidaemia and changes in health-related behaviours among evacuees; all of which may lead to an increased cardiovascular disease risk in the future. The effects of a major nuclear accident on societies are diverse and enduring. The countermeasures should include disaster management, long-term general public health services, mental and psychological care, behavioural and societal support, in addition to efforts to mitigate the health effects attributable to radiation.

Keywords: Evacuation; health effects; medical response; mental effects; nuclear accident; relocation.

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