Background: This study investigated the association between residential status and the risk of developing anemia in older adult survivors of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Methods: A total of 3,244 individuals (mean age: 72.2 years) free from disability or anemia at baseline who participated in at least one follow-up questionnaire between 2012 and 2015 in the Research project for prospective Investigation of health problems Among Survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake were included. Residential status was categorized into “no relocation,” “relocated to temporary housing,” or “relocated to other residences.” Anemia was defined as hemoglobin concentrations <13.0 g/dL in males and <12.0 g/dL in females. Multilevel regression models with repeated measurements were used to estimate the adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the association between residential status and the risk of anemia.
Results: During the survey, 313 men and 387 women developed anemia at least once. Women who were forced to live in temporary housing had a significantly higher risk of developing anemia (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.09–1.85). Among the men, no association between the development of anemia and residential status was observed.
Conclusions: The development of anemia may reflect an increased vulnerability to future health outcomes in older adults. Continued monitoring and health support for older people forced to live in temporary housing is necessary to prevent future health deterioration.