Hemorrhagic Ulcers after Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: Features of Post-Disaster Hemorrhagic Ulcers

Division of Gastroenterology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.
Digestion (Impact Factor: 2.1). 01/2013; 87(1):40-6. DOI: 10.1159/000343937
Source: PubMed


We investigated the characteristic features and treatment of hemorrhagic peptic ulcers after the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred on 11 March 2011.

Clinical data of patients with hemorrhagic peptic ulcers were retrospectively collected during the 3 months after the earthquake from seven major hospitals in the middle of the stricken area, and were compared with those during the same period of the previous year.

After the earthquake, the number of hemorrhagic ulcers increased 2.2 fold as compared with the previous year, and gastric ulcers were significantly more frequent compared with duodenal ulcers (p < 0.05) and more often presented multiple forms (p < 0.05). Nonetheless, the proportion of re-bleeding cases after hemostasis treatment (8% in 2010 vs. 5% in 2011) or total mortality rate (2.5% in 2010 vs. 1.2% in 2011) was rather lower after the earthquake compared with that of the previous year.

We clarified that post-disaster hemorrhagic ulcers existed frequently in the stomach, often as multiple ulcers at the same time. The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami caused many cases of hemorrhagic ulcer. However, because of the high success rate of endoscopic hemostasis, the mortality remained as low as in the previous year. Our present study provides important information for large-scale disasters which can occur anywhere.

10 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many medical investigations, including epidemiological studies, case reports and case series have been conducted in association with large-scale disasters worldwide. Gastrointestinal diseases have been identified in many studies on disaster-related diseases with various problems being encountered especially in the acute (the first 3 days after the onset of a disaster), subacute (approximately the first 2 weeks after the onset of a disaster), and chronic phases. The problems in the acute phase concern food security and nutrition, while those in the subacute phase concern constipation and diarrhea. According to each disease site, the clinically important problems in the chronic phase are peptic ulcer and functional dyspepsia affecting the upper gastrointestinal tract, and inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome affecting the lower gastrointestinal tract. In addition, chronic hepatitis B and alcoholic liver diseases/pancreatitis are major hepatobiliary pancreatic diseases.
    Clinical Journal of Gastroenterology 04/2013; 6(2). DOI:10.1007/s12328-013-0369-y
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To elucidate the characteristics of hemorrhagic gastric/duodenal ulcers in a post-earthquake period within one medical district. Hemorrhagic gastric/duodenal ulcers in the Iwate Prefectural Kamaishi Hospital during the 6-mo period after the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster were reviewed retrospectively. The subjects were 27 patients who visited our hospital with a chief complaint of hematemesis or hemorrhagic stool and were diagnosed as having hemorrhagic gastric/duodenal ulcers by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy during a 6-mo period starting on March 11, 2011. This period was divided into two phases: the acute stress phase, comprising the first month after the earthquake disaster, and the chronic stress phase, from the second through the sixth month. The following items were analyzed according to these phases: age, sex, sites and number of ulcers, peptic ulcer history, status of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and degree of impact of the earthquake disaster. In the acute stress phase from 10 d to 1 mo after the disaster, the number of patients increased rapidly, with a nearly equal male-to-female ratio, and the rate of multiple ulcers was significantly higher than in the previous year (88.9% vs 25%, P < 0.005). In the chronic stress phase starting 1 mo after the earthquake disaster, the number of patients decreased to a level similar to that of the previous year. There were more male patients during this period, and many patients tended to have a solitary ulcer. All patients with duodenal ulcers found in the acute stress phase were negative for serum H. pylori antibodies, and this was significantly different from the previous year's positive rate of 75% (P < 0.05). Severe stress caused by an earthquake disaster may have affected the characteristics of hemorrhagic gastric/duodenal ulcers.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 11/2013; 19(42):7426-7432. DOI:10.3748/wjg.v19.i42.7426 · 2.37 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Great East Japan earthquake, subsequent tsunamis and the Fukushima nuclear incident had a tremendous impact on Japanese society. Although small-scale surveys have been conducted in highly affected areas, few have elucidated the disaster's effect on health from national perspective, which is necessary to prepare national policy and response. The aim of the present study was to describe prefecture-level health status and investigate associations with number of aftershocks, seismic intensity, a closer geographical location to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, or higher reported radiation dose in each prefecture even after adjusting for individual socioeconomic factors, by utilizing individual-level data acquired from a national cross-sectional Internet survey as well as officially reported prefecture-level data. A Japanese government research institute obtained 12,000 participants by quota sampling and 7335 participants were eligible for the analysis in an age range between 17 and 27 years old. We calculated the percentage of people with decreased subjective health in each prefecture after the earthquake. Variability introduced by a small sample size for some prefectures was smoothed using empirical Bayes estimation with a random-intercept logistic model, with and without demographic factors. Multilevel logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for change of subjective health associated with prefecture-level and individual-level factors. Adjusted empirical Bayes estimates were higher for respondents commuting in the northeast region (Iwate 14%, Miyagi 19%, and Fukushima 28%), which faces the Pacific Ocean, while the values for Akita (10%) and Yamagata (8%) prefectures, which do not face the Pacific Ocean, were lower than those of Tokyo (12%). The values from the central to the western region were clearly lower. The number of aftershocks was coherently associated with decreased health (OR 1.05 per 100 times, 95% CI 1.04-1.06; P<.001) even after adjusting for covariates (OR 1.02 per 100 times, 95% CI 1.00-1.05; 1.32 per 1000 times, 95% CI 1.03-1.71; P=.049). In contrast, seismic intensity of the initial earthquake (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.65-1.17; P=.36), radiation dose (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.82-1.64; P=.41), and distance from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.99-1.00; P=.66) were not. Change in job condition (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.72-2.45; P<.001), female (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.19-1.69; P<.001), higher age (OR 1.06 per year, 95% CI 1.02-1.11; P=.005), and duration of evacuation longer than 4 weeks (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.06-1.97; P=.02) seemed to decrease perceived health status. We found nationwide differences that show decreased health status because of the Great East Japan disaster according to prefecture. The number of aftershocks, change in work conditions, being female, a higher age, and duration of the evacuation were risk factors for the population after the major earthquake, tsunamis, and nuclear incident.
    12/2013; 2(2):e31. DOI:10.2196/ijmr.2585
Show more