Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 November 2015
The effects of earthquakes on ischemic heart disease (IHD) have often been reported. At a population level, this study examined short-term (60-day) and long-term (5-year) hospitalization events for IHD after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
We examined the 10-year medical hospitalization records on IHD in the city of Deyang provided by the Urban Employee Basic Health Insurance program.
Evaluation of 19,083 hospitalizations showed a significantly lower proportional number and cost of hospitalizations in the 60 days after the earthquake (P<0.001). Hospitalizations were 27.81% lower than would have been expected in a normal year; costs were 32.53% lower. However, in the 5 years after the earthquake, the age-adjusted annual incidence of hospitalization increased significantly (P<0.001). In the fifth year after the earthquake, it was significantly higher in the extremely hard-hit area than in the hard-hit area (P<0.01).
After the 2008 earthquake, short- and long-term patterns of hospitalization for IHD changed greatly, but in different ways. Our findings suggest that medical resources for IHD should be distributed dynamically over time after an earthquake. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:203–210)