The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Online ISSN : 1349-3329
Print ISSN : 0040-8727
Regular Contribution
Protocol and Research Perspectives of the ToMMo Child Health Study after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake
Masahiro KikuyaMasako MiyashitaChizuru YamanakaMami IshikuroYuki SatoTaku ObaraHirohito MetokiNaoki NakayaFuji NagamiHiroaki TomitaHideyasu KiyomotoJunichi SugawaraAtsushi HozawaNobuo FuseYoichi SuzukiIchiro TsujiShigeo KureNobuo YaegashiMasayuki YamamotoShinichi Kuriyama
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Volume 236 (2015) Issue 2 Pages 123-130

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Abstract

Residents of areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake may suffer from diseases or health problems. We are conducting a cross-sectional study from 2012 to 2015 to investigate and address the health needs of schoolchildren affected by this disaster. In this paper, we describe the protocol and research perspectives of our long-term child health study, and present the results obtained immediately after the disaster. The parent-administered questionnaire includes the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire for asthma and eczema symptoms, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and a questionnaire on influenza infection and vaccination status. In 2012, we distributed the questionnaire to 3,505 (2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th graders) in three municipalities located in southern coastal area among the 28 municipalities, and 1,277 (36.4%) returned the completed questionnaire. Mean age was 11.1 ± 2.2 years old. The number of children with symptoms of wheeze and eczema in the past 12 months was 146 (11.4%) and 199 (15.6%), respectively. The SDQ total difficulties score revealed 174 (13.6%) children with some form of difficulty in their daily lives. From May 2011 to April 2012, 195 (15.3%) and 649 (50.8%) children received the influenza vaccination once and twice, respectively, and 532 (41.7%) had suffered from influenza. The prevalence of eczema symptoms or some form of difficulty was higher than the Japanese average. However, careful interpretation was required because of potential self-selection bias from the low response rate. We will continue this study of schoolchildren to provide aggregate findings.

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    The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine (TJEM) was founded in 1920 by professors of Tohoku Imperial University, Medical School. The TJEM has been published continuously, except for the year of 1946 just after the World War II. The TJEM is open to original articles in all branches of medical sciences. The TJEM also covers the fields of disaster-prevention science, including earthquake archeology.

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