In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

We use cookies to optimise the design of this website and make continuous improvement. By continuing your visit, you consent to the use of cookies. Learn more

The Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster and Cardiovascular Diseases

See the press release:
Munich, Germany – August 27 2012: The Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, which hit the north-east coast of Japan with a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale, was one of the largest ocean-trench earthquakes ever recorded in Japan.  The tsunami caused huge damage, including 15,861 dead and 3018 missing persons, and, as of 6 June 2012, 388,783 destroyed homes...
Read more



Presenter: Hiroaki Shimokawa | see Discussant report

List of Authors: Hiroaki Shimokawa, MD, PhD; Tatsuo Aoki, MD, PhD; Yoshihiro Fukumoto, MD, PhD.
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.



While previous studies reported short-term increase in individual cardiovascular disease (CVD) after great earthquakes, mid-term occurrences of all types of CVDs after great earthquakes are unknown.  We addressed this important issue in our experience with the Great East Japan Earthquake (March 11, 2011).

Methods and Results
We retrospectively examined the impact of the Earthquake on the occurrences of CVDs and pneumonia by comparing the ambulance records made by doctors in our Miyagi prefecture, the center of the disaster area, during the periods of 2008-2011 (n=124,152).  The weekly occurrences of CVDs, including heart failure (HF), acute coronary syndrome (ACS), stroke and cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA), and pneumonia were all significantly increased after the Earthquake compared with the previous 3 years.  The occurrences of ACS and CPA showed the rapid increase followed by a sharp decline, whereas those of HF and pneumonia showed a prolonged increase for more than 6 weeks and those of stroke and CPA showed a second peak after the largest aftershock (April 7, 2011).  Furthermore, the occurrence of CPA was increased in the first 24 hours after the Earthquake, followed by other diseases later on.  These increases were independent of age, sex or residence area (seacoast vs. inland).

These results indicate that the occurrences of all types of CVDs and pneumonia were increased in somewhat different time-courses after the Earthquake, including the first observation of the marked and prolonged increase in HF, emphasizing the importance of intensive medical management of all types of CVDs after great earthquakes.


Discussant: Gerhard Steinbeck | see Presenter abstract



708007 - 708008


Hot Line III: Late Breaking Trials on Arrhythmias and CAD

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.