Background: This study aimed to investigate the association between evacuation status and lifestyle-related disease risks among Fukushima residents following the Great East Japan earthquake.
Methods: Fukushima health management survey respondents were classified into non-evacuees, returnees, evacuees in lifted areas, and evacuees in banned areas. During a seven-year follow-up, 22,234 men and 31,158 women were included. Those with a history of diabetes, hypertension, or dyslipidemia at baseline were excluded. The odds ratios of risk factors (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia were calculated using a logistic regression model. Spatial autocorrelation of the prevalence of these diseases in the Fukushima area in 2017, was calculated to detect the disease prevalence status.
Results: The risks of diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia were higher in evacuees in banned areas than in non-evacuees; the multivariable ORs were 1.32 (95% CI: 1.19-1.46), 1.15 (1.06-1.25), and 1.20 (1.11-1.30) for diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia, respectively. Returnees and evacuees in lifted areas had no increased risk of diseases. The area analyzed had a non-uniform spatial distribution of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, with clusters around Fukushima and Koriyama.
Conclusion: Our findings imply the need for continuous support for evacuees in banned areas.
Keywords: Great East Japan earthquake; cardiovascular and metabolic diseases; disaster; disease prevalence status; evacuation.