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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101281

The Relationship between Starting to Drink and Psychological Distress, Sleep Disturbance after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster: The Fukushima Health Management Survey

1
Department of Public Health, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
2
Department of Epidemiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
3
Department of Adult Mental Health, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-8553, Japan
4
Department of Disaster Psychiatry, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
5
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
6
Radiation Medical Science Center for the Fukushima Health Management Survey, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Abstract

This longitudinal study aimed to investigate the prevalence of newly-started drinkers and their continuing drinking behaviors after the Great East Japan earthquake. Moreover, the relationships between newly-started drinking and psychological factor, disaster-related experience, and perceived radiation risk were examined. We used data from 37,687 pre-disaster non-drinkers who participated in the 2012 and 2013 surveys conducted in Fukushima. We defined newly-started drinkers as those who did not drink before the disaster but who began drinking after the disaster, based on information collected retrospectively. In 2012, 9.6% of non-drinkers began drinking, of which the prevalence of heavy drinkers was 18.4%. The prevalence of continued drinking among newly-started drinkers in 2013 was 53.8%. Logistic regression analyses revealed post-disaster newly-started drinking was significantly associated with being male, less than 65 years old, sleep dissatisfaction and psychological distress (Kessler 6 ≤ 13) when this model was adjusted for disaster-related experience and perceived radiation risk. Moreover, psychological distress and heavy drinking were significant risk factors for continued drinking among newly-started drinkers. Newly-started drinkers might use alcohol to cope with disaster-related stress. Thus, they may be targeted for disaster-related health services. Moreover, early intervention should encourage responsible drinking, since post-disaster heavy drinkers were likely to continue heavy drinking. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; evacuees; nuclear disaster; Great East Japan earthquake; mental health service alcohol; evacuees; nuclear disaster; Great East Japan earthquake; mental health service
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Orui, M.; Ueda, Y.; Suzuki, Y.; Maeda, M.; Ohira, T.; Yabe, H.; Yasumura, S. The Relationship between Starting to Drink and Psychological Distress, Sleep Disturbance after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster: The Fukushima Health Management Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1281.

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