Background: Previous studies have linked residential displacement as a result of the 2011 East Japan Earthquake to increases in body weight. However, no study has examined longer-term trajectories of body weight among displaced survivors. We compared body weight change between survivors relocated to temporary housing (TH) group versus other types of accommodation for up to 5 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Methods: Longitudinal follow-up was conducted from 2011 to 2015 in a cohort of 9,909 residents of 42,831. We compared trends in body weight in the TH group (n =3,169) and the non-TH group (n =6,740) using a mixed linear regression model stratified by sex (mean age, 61.0 years old, male, 38.9%).
Results: In age adjusted analysis, the body weight in the 2011 survey was not significantly different between two groups for either sex. In men, the TH group significantly increased body weight compared to the non-TH group since 2012. In women, body weight sharply increased in the TH group while body weight did not change in the non-TH group during survey time points. The interaction of living conditions and survey years was statistically significant in both sexes (men; F-value, 6.958; P value <0.001: women; F-value, 19.127; P value <0.001).
Conclusion: Survivors relocated to temporary housing had an increased risk of weight gain. The weight gain in this group is a potential risk factor for metabolic syndrome in the post-disaster period.