, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 375-381
Date: 26 Aug 2012

Disaster Hypertension: Experience from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011

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Abstract

After a major disaster, such as the East Japan Earthquake with ensuing tsunami and nuclear accident in March 2011, there is typically a spike in cardiovascular disease onset due to increased blood pressure and hypercoagulability. The risk of cardiovascular disease after an earthquake can be reduced by understanding the characteristics of these risks and taking appropriate preventive and remedial measures. During the East Japan Earthquake disaster, Disaster Cardiovascular Prevention (DCAP) Risk Scores (0-6 points; goal≤4 points)/Prevention Scores (0-8 points; goal ≥ 6 points) were used to identify patients at risk at shelters and then safeguard their living conditions, chiefly by monitoring blood pressure and offering appropriate lifestyle guidance as well as treatment. By quickly reducing elevated blood pressures and then assuring stable control we could prevent the mortality and morbidity associated with disaster hypertension. This paper reviews the disaster-related mechanisms that induce cardiovascular disease and introduces the DCAP system and four typical cases in which it intervened.