Volume 15, Issue 8 p. 1009-1018
Featured Article

Persistent impact of housing loss on cognitive decline after the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami: Evidence from a 6-year longitudinal study

Hiroyuki Hikichi

Corresponding Author

Hiroyuki Hikichi

School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Corresponding author. Tel.: +852-3917-9913; Fax: +852-2855-9528.

E-mail address: [email protected]

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Jun Aida

Jun Aida

Department of International and Community Oral Health, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan

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Katsunori Kondo

Katsunori Kondo

Center for Preventive Medical Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan

Center for Gerontology and Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Aichi, Japan

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Ichiro Kawachi

Ichiro Kawachi

Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

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First published: 01 August 2019
Citations: 12
Conflict of Interest: Authors declare no competing interests.

Abstract

Introduction

We previously established that housing loss and residential dislocation in the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami was a risk factor for cognitive decline among older survivors. The present study extends the follow-up of survivors out to 6 years.

Methods

The baseline for our natural experiment was established in a survey of older community-dwelling adults who lived 80 km west of the epicenter 7 months before the earthquake and tsunami. Two follow-up surveys were conducted approximately 2.5 years and 5.5 years after the disaster to ascertain the housing status and cognitive decline from 2810 older individuals (follow-up rate through three surveys: 68.4%).

Results

The experience of housing loss was persistently associated with cognitive disability (coefficient = 0.14, 95% confidence interval: 0.04 to 0.23).

Discussion

Experiences of housing loss continued to be significantly associated with cognitive disability even six years after the disaster.