Higher risk of metabolic syndrome linked to 3/11 housing damage


The risk of developing metabolic syndrome is 1.29 times higher for men whose homes were destroyed by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, a survey by Tohoku University says.

“It may be because such people go out less frequently than before they moved into temporary housing,” said Atsushi Hozawa, a professor at the university’s Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization. “Measures to prevent them from developing lifestyle-related diseases need to be taken.”

The survey covered about 63,000 adults in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures from 2013 to 2016. The ratio of men with metabolic syndrome stood at 25.4 percent in coastal areas hit by tsunami and 24.2 percent in areas further inland.

Men with severely damaged homes were found to be 1.26 times more likely to develop the syndrome than those whose homes took light damage.

For women, the risk was 1.03 times higher for those whose homes were destroyed and 1.22 times higher for those whose homes took heavy damage.

It also said the ratio of people with signs of depression was 27.8 percent on the coast, versus 24.8 percent inland.