Correlation between the Great East Japan earthquake and postpartum depression: A study in Miyako, Iwate, Japan

Hidekazu Nishigori, Michiho Sasaki, Taku Obara, Toshie Nishigori, Mami Ishikuro, Hirohito Metoki, Junichi Sugawara, Shinichi Kuriyama, Akira Hosoyachi, Nobuo Yaegashi, Takashi Kobayashi, Noboru Yoshizumi

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective This study aimed to explore the correlation between the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and postpartum depression among perinatal subjects in the Miyako region of Iwate, an area damaged by earthquakes and tsunamis. Methods We retrospectively compared the percentages of women with scores ≥9 on the Japanese version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) among 3 groups of women who gave birth prior to the disaster (before-disaster group: n=141), within 3 months after the disaster (within-3-months group: n=70), and 4-6 months after the disaster (4-6-months group: n=89) at the Iwate Prefectural Miyako Hospital. The risk factors for EPDS scores ≥9 were estimated with multivariate logistic regression analyses. Results Compared with the before-disaster group, a significantly greater number of women in the within-3-months group had EPDS scores ≥9 at hospital discharge (31.4% versus 9.9%, P<.0001), whereas women in the 4-6-months group did not (10.1% versus 9.9%, P=.96). In both the after-disaster groups, the destruction of their home (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 3.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.46-9.26) and dissatisfaction with their living conditions (AOR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.20-7.59) were significantly associated with EPDS scores ≥9. Conclusions An increase in postpartum depression was observed after the Great East Japan Earthquake among perinatal women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-312
Number of pages6
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 17


  • medical records
  • mental disorders
  • tsunamis


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