Deep vein thrombosis common among Japanese disaster evacuees

   The incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was high among those evacuated to shelters after the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, Japan. 

   Shinya Takase, MD, PhD, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan, and colleagues examined 2238 evacuees in the weeks and months after the disaster, and found the incidence of DVT in shelters near the tsunami landfall was 35% compared to 9.8% overall. Most of the DVTs (94.4%) were identified as chronic and mural in the soleus or gastrocnemius veins. The incidence was higher in evacuees from the tsunami area than those from nuclear power plant accident (13.3% vs 7.5%, P <0.0001).   

   The researchers found a link between shelter quality and the incidence of DVT. Utilities, such as water and electricity, were lacking, food was inadequate, and latrines were outside in the cold. Most evacuees slept on floor mattresses. "

   Further analysis with long-term follow-up is mandatory for better understanding of post-disaster pathophysiology caused by natural disaster complicated with modern nuclear technology," Dr. Takase and colleagues concluded.