Migration patterns of pregnant women after disasters
Inoue, Yuta Osaka University|Tokushima University Tokushima University Educator and Researcher Directory
Ohashi, Kazutomo Otemae University
Ohno, Yuko Osaka University
Fujimaki, Takako Osaka University
Tsutsui, Anna Osaka University
Zha, Ling Osaka University
Sobue, Tomotaka Osaka University
The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (within Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi prefectures) was a complex disaster; it caused a tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, resulting in radiation exposure. This study investigated the earthquake’s effects on the migration patterns of pregnant women and their concerns regarding radiation exposure. We also considered the following large-scale earthquakes without radiation exposure: Great Hanshin-Awaji (Hyogo prefecture), Niigata-Chuetsu, and Kumamoto. Pregnant women were categorized as outflow and inflow pregnant women. Data on the annual number of births three years before and after the earthquake were used as a denominator to calculate the outflow and inflow rates per 100 births. The odds ratios of annual outflow and inflow rates after the earthquake, using three years before the earthquake as the baseline, were calculated. The odds-ratio for outflow significantly increased for Hyogo, Fukushima, Miyagi, and Kumamoto prefectures after the earthquake, particularly for Fukushima, showing a significant increase until three years post the Great East Japan Earthquake (disaster year: odds-ratio: 2.66 [95% confidence interval: 2.44–2.90], 1 year post: 1.37 [1.23–1.52], 2 years post: 1.13 [1.00–1.26], 3 years post: 1.18 [1.05–1.31]), while the remaining three prefectures reported limited increases post one year. The inflow decreased after the earthquake, particularly in Fukushima, showing a significant decrease until 2 years post the Great East Japan Earthquake (disaster year: 0.58 [0.53–0.63], 1 year post: 0.76 [0.71–0.82], 2 years post: 0.83 [0.77–0.89]). Thus, pregnant women’s migration patterns changed after large-scale earthquakes, suggesting radiation exposure concerns possibly have a significant effects. These results suggested that plans for receiving assistance and support that considers the peculiarities of disaster related damage and pregnant women’s migration patterns are needed in both the affected and non-affected areas.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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