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Suzuki Y, Takebayashi Y, Yasumura S, Murakami M, Harigane M, Yabe H, Ohira T, Ohtsuru A, Nakajima S, Maeda M. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018; 15(6): e15061219.


Department of Disaster Psychiatry, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan.


(Copyright © 2018, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






After the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, numerous evacuees reported poor mental health status and high-risk perceptions of the health effects of radiation. However, the temporal associations between these variables have not yet been examined. Using data from the Fukushima Health Survey, we examined changes in risk perception of the health effects of radiation over time and assessed the effects of mental health on such changes using logistic regression analysis. Risk perception for delayed effect pertains a brief on health effect in later life (delayed effect), whereas that of genetic effect pertains a brief on health effect of future children and grandchildren (genetic effect). We found that many participants showed consistently high or low-risk perceptions over all three study years (2011⁻2013) (for delayed effect: 59% and 41% of participants were in the low and high-risk perception groups, respectively; for genetic effect: 47% and 53%, respectively). Stronger traumatic reactions (≥50 on the PTSD Checklist⁻Specific) significantly affected the odds of being in the high-risk perception group for the delayed and genetic effects, with the associations being strongest soon after the disaster: The adjusted ORs (95%CIs) were 2.05 (1.82⁻2.31), 1.86 (1.61⁻2.15), and 1.88 (1.62⁻2.17) for the delayed effect in 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively, and 2.18 (1.92⁻2.48), 2.05 (1.75⁻2.40), and 1.82 (1.55⁻2.15) for the genetic effect. As initial mental health status had the strongest impact on later risk perceptions of radiation, it should be considered in early response and communication efforts.

Language: en


Fukushima; Japan; longitudinal change; mental health; nuclear power plant accident; risk perception; traumatic reaction


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