- International Heart Journal Association
- International Heart Journal (ISSN:13492365)
- pp.19-110, (Released:2019-10-31)
On March 11, 2011, a great earthquake, known as the Great East Japan Earthquake, hit northeastern Japan, resulting in a tsunami that caused a nuclear disaster, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, forcing about 160,000 people to evacuate. We, therefore, sought to examine the effects of this evacuation on the onset of cardiovascular diseases and sudden death (SD) in Fukushima Prefecture, three years after the earthquake. We divided the evacuation zone into two areas, whole evacuation zone (Area 1) and partial evacuation zone (Area 2), and we defined the north district of the prefecture as the control area (Area 3). We cross-referenced the death certificate data with data from the Fukushima Prefecture acute myocardial infarction registration survey. For each area, we tallied the number of people who fell into the SD, myocardial infarction (MI), and MI suspected groups. We calculated the age-adjusted incidence rates and analyzed the differences in the adjusted incidence rates across three years using a Poisson regression model. The age-adjusted death rate of the SD group was significantly higher in 2011 in all areas than in 2012 or 2013 (P < 0.05). The total death rate was higher in Area 1 in March 2011, just after the disaster, than in the other two areas. The rate of SD was also higher in Area 1 than in the other areas in March 2011. The incidence of sudden cardiac death might have increased just after the Great East Japan Earthquake in the evacuation area, but not in other areas in Fukushima Prefecture.