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Rising cardiovascular incidence after Japanese earthquake 2011
Date:8/27/2012

eeks after the tsunami struck. On the other hand, the incident increases in stroke and cardio-pulmonary arrest followed the pattern of the first and aftershock seismic peaks. The rapid increases in the occurrence of acute coronary syndromes and cardio-pulmonary arrest was followed by a sharp and significant decline. Interestingly, said Dr Shimokawa, age, sex or residence area did not significantly affect the occurrences of CVD during or following the tsunami.

"To the best of our knowledge," he added, "this is the first report to describe the mid-term course of major cardiovascular events and pneumonia after a great earthquake in a large population. In particular, our findings provide the first evidence that the incidence of heart failure was markedly increased over a long period afterwards." Prevalence of pneumonia, a well known risk factor for deteriorating heart failure, was significantly increased.

The Tohoku University study also found - as reflected in self-monitoring measurements - that blood pressure was significantly elevated after the Earthquake. However, transport disruption following the tsunami interrupted delivery of regular medications, such as antihypertensive or antithrombotic drugs, and this may have contributed to the increased cardiovascular events. There was also an increase in the occurrences of ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients with implantable cardiac defibrillators.

"Taken together," said Dr Shimokawa, "we consider that discontinuation of drugs, activated sympathetic nervous system, rising blood pressure, and the increased occurrence of tachyarrhythmia and infections were all involved in the increased occurrence of cardiovascular events after the Great Earthquake of Japan."


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Contact: ESC Press Office
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European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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