Long-term effects of earthquake experience of young persons on cardiovascular disease risk factors
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Submission date: 2014-11-19
Final revision date: 2015-01-29
Acceptance date: 2015-02-14
Online publication date: 2016-12-19
Publication date: 2016-12-22
Arch Med Sci 2017;13(1):75–81
Introduction: The aim of the study was to study the long-term effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors of stress from direct experience of an earthquake as a young person.
Material and methods: We selected workers born between July 1, 1958 and July 1, 1976 who were examined at Kailuan General Hospital between May and October of 2013. Data on cardiovascular events were taken during the workers’ annual health examination conducted between 2006 and 2007. All subjects were divided into three groups according to their experience of the Tangshan earthquake of July 28, 1976, as follows: control group; exposed group 1 and exposed group 2. We compared cardiovascular disease risk factors between the three groups as well as by gender and age.
Results: One thousand one hundred and ninety-six workers were included in the final statistical analysis. Among all subjects, resting heart rate (p = 0.003), total cholesterol (p < 0.001), and fasting blood glucose (p < 0.001) were significantly higher among those who experienced the earthquake compared with unexposed controls, but were unrelated to loss of relatives. No significant difference in triglyceride levels was observed between the three groups (p = 0.900). Further refinement showed that the effects were restricted to males 40 years of age or older at the time of analysis, but were due primarily to age at the time of earthquake exposure (p = 0.002, p < 0.001 and p = 0.002).
Conclusions: Earthquake experience in the early years of life has long-term effects on adult resting heart rate, total cholesterol, and fasting plasma glucose, especially among men.