This study examined the association between psychological distress and the risk of withdrawing from hypertension treatment (HTTx) 1 year after the earthquake disaster in the coastal area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE).
Using cross-sectional data from 2012, we studied people over 20 years of age living in Shichigahama Town, Miyagi, on the northeastern coast of Japan, which had been severely inundated by the tsunami that followed the GEJE in 2011. A total of 1014 subjects were categorized as in need of HTTx. Withdrawing from HTTx was assessed by using a self-reported questionnaire.
Subjects with a higher degree of psychological distress (Kessler-6 [K6] score ≥ 13) exhibited a significantly higher risk of withdrawing from HTTx, compared with subjects with a lower degree of psychological distress (K6 score ≤ 12; odds ratio=4.0; 95% confidence interval: 1.3-10.6, P<0.01).
This study indicated that psychological distress is a risk factor for withdrawing from HTTx in post-disaster settings. Our data suggested that the increased risk of withdrawing from HTTx associated with post-disaster psychological distress may underlie the increased prevalence of vascular diseases after the earthquake disaster in coastal areas affected by the tsunami. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:179–182)
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