Background: People with poor health or mental conditions are generally unwilling to participate in the health examinations, and no studies have directly examined the relationship of psychological distress among disaster survivors with participation status to date. The present study thus examined psychosocial differences according to the respondent status in a 5-year follow-up survey among participants in the prospective health surveys on survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster study in Iwate Prefecture, Japan.
Methods: We analyzed data from 10,203 Japanese survivors aged ≥18 years (mean age, 65.6 years; 38.0% men) and who underwent health examinations at baseline in 2011. Participants were classified into responders and nonresponders according to their 2015 health examination participation status. Psychological distress was evaluated using the Kessler 6 scale and categorized as none, mild, and severe. Multinominal logistic regression was used to examine the risk of psychological distress in relation to participation status.
Results: In the 2015 survey, 6,334 of 6,492 responders and 1,686 of 3,356 nonresponders were analyzed. The most common reasons for nonparticipation in the survey were participated in other health examinations, examined at a hospital, and did not have time to participate. Nonresponse in males was associated only with mild psychological stress, whereas nonresponse in females was associated with mild and severe psychological distress.
Conclusion: Nonresponders in the follow-up survey had a higher risk of psychological distress than responders. Continuous monitoring of the health of nonresponders and responders may help to prevent future health deterioration.
Background: Detailed data on intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy in Japan are lacking. Using a nationwide inpatient database in Japan, we aimed to assess ICU bed occupancy to guide critical care utilization planning.
Methods: We identified all ICU patients admitted from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2018 to ICU-equipped hospitals participating in the Japanese Diagnosis Procedure Combination inpatient database. We assessed the trends in daily occupancy by counting the total number of occupied ICU beds on a given day divided by the total number of licensed ICU beds in the participating hospitals. We also assessed ICU occupancy for patients with mechanical ventilation, patients with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and patients without life-supportive therapies.
Results: Over the 4 study years, 1,379,618 ICU patients were admitted to 495 hospitals equipped with 5,341 ICU beds, accounting for 75% of all ICU beds in Japan. Mean ICU occupancy on any given day was 60%, with a range of 45.0% to 72.5%. Mean ICU occupancy did not change over the 4 years. Mean ICU occupancy was about 9% higher on weekdays than on weekends and about 5% higher in the coldest season than in the warmest season. For patients with mechanical ventilation, patients with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and patients without life-supportive therapies, mean ICU occupancy was 24%, 0.5%, and 30%, respectively.
Conclusion: Only one-fourth of ICU beds were occupied by mechanically ventilated patients, suggesting that the critical care system in Japan has substantial surge capacity under normal temporal variation to care for critically ill patients.
Background: Knee extensor muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) are major components of physical fitness. Because the interactive association of knee extensor muscle strength and CRF with bone health remains unclear, we aimed to investigate such association in Japanese adults.
Methods: Altogether, 8,829 Japanese adults (3,731 men and 5,098 women) aged ≥45 years completed the maximum voluntary knee extension test, submaximal exercise test, medical examination, and a questionnaire on lifestyle habits. Using an osteo-sono assessment index, low bone stiffness tendency was defined as 80% under the young-adults mean. Multivariable odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated after confounder adjustment.
Results: Overall, 542 men (14.5%) and 978 women (19.2%) had low bone stiffness tendency. We observed an inverse association between muscle strength and low bone stiffness tendency after adjustment for CRF in both sexes (P for linear trend <0.001). Compared with the lowest CRF, the multivariable ORs for low bone stiffness tendency in the highest CRF were 0.47 (95% CI, 0.36–0.62) for men and 1.05 (95% CI, 0.82–1.35) for post-menopausal women (P < 0.001 and P = 0.704, respectively). No interactive association between muscle strength and CRF for low bone stiffness tendency existed in both sexes and irrespective of menopausal status.
Conclusion: Knee extensor muscle strength and CRF were associated additively, not synergistically, with bone health. Maintaining high levels of both physical fitness components may improve musculoskeletal health in the cohort. The relationship between physical fitness and bone status should be longitudinally investigated in the future.
Background: Breakfast is deemed the most important meal of the day. We examined the prospective associations of breakfast habits with emotional/behavioral problems in adolescents and potential effect modification.
Methods: 115,217 Primary 6 students (United States Grade 6; mean age, 11.9; standard deviation [SD], 0.59 years) who attended the Student Health Service of Department of Health in Hong Kong in 2004/05, 2006/07, 2008/09 were followed till Secondary 6 (United States Grade 12). Emotional/behavioral problems were biennially examined using Youth Self-Report since Secondary 2 (United States Grade 8). Lifestyles were biennially examined using standardized questionnaires since Primary 6. Prospective associations of breakfast habit with emotional/behavioral problems and potential effect modification were examined using generalized estimating equations.
Results: Compared with eating breakfast at home, eating breakfast away from home was significantly associated with total emotional/behavioral problems and seven syndromes, including withdrawal, somatic complaints, anxiety/depression, thought problems, attention problems, delinquent behaviors, and aggressive behaviors (adjusted odds ratios [AORs] 1.22–2.04), while skipping breakfast showed stronger associations with the above problems and social problems (AORs 1.34–2.29). Stronger associations were observed in younger students for total and attention problems (P < 0.03) and in those with lower weight status for delinquent behaviors (P = 0.005).
Conclusion: Eating breakfast away from home and especially skipping breakfast were prospectively associated with adolescent emotional/behavioral problems. The associations weakened with increasing age for total emotional/behavioral and attention problems, and weakened with higher weight status for delinquent behaviors, highlighting the vulnerability of younger and underweight children. If the associations are causal, increasing home breakfast may reduce adolescent emotional/behavioral problems and benefit psychosocial health.
Background: To clarify the association between psychosocial problems and frailty in the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and to develop strategies for preventive long-term care in the community, we launched the Kesennuma Study in 2019. This report describes the study design and the participants’ profiles at baseline.
Methods: The prospective study comprised 9,754 people (4,548 men and 5,206 women) randomly selected from community-dwelling independent adults aged 65 to 84 who were living in Kesennuma City, Miyagi. The baseline survey was conducted in October 2019. It included information on general health, socio-economic status, frailty, lifestyle, psychological factors (eg, personality, depressive moods), and social factors (eg, social isolation, social capital). A follow-up questionnaire survey is planned. Mortality, incident disability, and long-term care insurance certifications will also be collected.
Results: A total of 8,150 questionnaires were returned (83.6% response rate), and 7,845 were included in the analysis (80.4%; mean age 73.6 [standard deviation, 5.5] years; 44.7% male). About 23.5% were considered frail. Regarding psychological and social functions, 42.7% had depressive moods, 29.1% were socially isolated, and only 37.0% participated in social activities at least once a month. However, 82.5% trusted their neighbors.
Conclusion: While local ties were strong, low social activity and poor mental health were revealed as issues in the affected area. Focusing on the association between psychological and social factors and frailty, we aim to delay the need for long-term care for as long as possible, through exercise, nutrition, social participation, and improvement of mental health.