More people in Miyagi coastal areas have depressive tendencies: study


Tendencies toward depression are stronger among residents of coastal areas of Miyagi Prefecture than in its inland areas, following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, a local survey suggested Friday.

The risk of depression in coastal areas was 1.34 times higher in fiscal 2013 and 1.11 times higher in fiscal 2014, according to the survey by a research group of Tohoku University.

The group analyzed the health conditions of 24,703 local residents aged between 20 and 74, based on questionnaires about lifestyle habits and mental conditions, as well as on blood and urine test results.

“The residents appear to be recovering from the disaster as time goes by, with housing and other conditions improving,” said Atsushi Hozawa, professor at the university’s Tohoku Medical Mega-bank Organization.

But Hozawa stressed that mental support for residents in disaster-hit areas continues to be necessary, citing higher risks of insomnia and post-traumatic stress reaction among coastal area residents.