English Translation of Fukushima Study

(From Fukushima prefecture’s website)

Translation from Japanese into English

Health Check-up for Fukusima residents (Documents as of July 24)

by Fukushima prefecture and Fukushima Medical University

(Note, Dr. Yamashita, the ‘Mr. 100mSv’ [no health harm up to 100mSv], is now the vice-president of the univ. He used to be a professor of Nagasaki University, and also the director of Nagasaki Univ International Hibakusha Center. This is a reason Fukushima residents and other JP citizens believed what he said during the early stage of the incident.)

Purpose of the project: To reduce fear and worry among residents about effects of radiation. To follow health status of residents for the long time.

Target population: All Fukushima residents who live in Fukushima at the March 11.

This project includes:

1) Radiation exposure estimation: Based on self-reported activity report between March 11 and 25, we will estimate individual radiation exposure estimation. The estimate will be sent back to individuals. For the purpose, please fill in the form attached. (Comments: Who do estimation? A third party or prefecture government? Underestimation may occur?)

2) Health check based on self-reported sheet.

–  –  –  –  –  –

Basic study

1) Target population: All Fukushima residents who live in Fukushima at the March 11, including residents who evacuated to other prefectures.

2) Method: Self-report using structured questionnaire

3) Study includes: Daily activity and food intake after March 11

4) Timing of implementation: End of August, 2011 (depends on preliminary study)

Detailed study

1) Target population: Residents of exclusion area and residents who need closer check based on the basic study results.

2) Method: Health check-up at clinics or health check-up place. (Note: In Japan, local municipalities offer routine health check-up for residents, thru their own facility or local clinics. So, the project will use the infrastructure.)

3) Study includes: Questionnaire (eg, lifestyle, psychological checks), physical measurement (height, weight, etc.), blood tests, urine tests (samples of blood and urine will be stored).

4) Timing of implementation: Not yet decided.

*A database will be developed to store all results.

*The project will be continued. However, contents and frequency are not decided.
Preliminary study

Will be conducted at the end of June.

Target area: Namie town, Iidate village, and Kawamata town (Yamakiya area). Population is 28,000.

Study includes the same contents as the basic study.

*Target selection method for internal radiation exposure test will be discussed with the municipalities.

(Note: According to the news of July 25, Kahoku Shimpo News, as of July 21th, only 22.8% of residents responded to this. 2,800 questionnaire were sent back to prefecture as ‘address unknown)

What Fukushima prefecture will do:

1) To reassure residents, explaining the projects to residents, and holding lecture meetings targeting local physicians.

2) Continuous offers of health and medical service, and, if necessary, refer residents to medical institutions to prevent deterioration of health status of residents.

–  –  –  –  –  –

Basic study questionnaire (will be collected via snail mail)

Items

Date when the respondent filled in the questionnaire

Who filled the questionnaire (in case a family member cannot fill in this, others can do it for them)

Name

Gender/Sex

Date of birth

Nationality/Domicile of origin (Note: Japanese unique way to track down family tree)

Registered address

Telephone number

Co-habiter/family members in a household

Have you ever worked as “radiation-related worker”? (If yes, please specify)

Building conditions of house (a house made of wood or concrete? Apartment complex made of wood or concrete? If apartment complex, which floor one lives. Others.)

Workplace, School address and Building conditions of workplace/school.

 

Record of daily activity behavior

The below is the chart to record daily activity from 3.11 to 3.25. (Comment: How can one remember detailed daily activity which s/he did 4-5 months ago, in the chaos after the earthquake and tsunami?)

 

Activity is broke down into ‘staying inside’ ‘transportation (by what)’ and ‘doing something outside.’ Respondent uses arrows on the chart to indicate each activity. If they were inside, they mentions whether the structure was made of wood or concrete.

Example

 

Chart to fill in

The questionnaire includes additional charts to fill in, which is about where they stayed/lived after March 26, where they went every weekday if they have places like workplace or school, where they visited other than regular workplace/school. This is basically a simplified version of the questionnaire described above.

Another chart to fill in for people who visited the exclusion area (the same form as the one above).

–  –  –  –  –  –

Food intake record

1) Whether a respondent ate vegetables and/or fruits grown at him/her own place from March 11 to the end of March. If ate,

a) What kind of vegetables/fruits (specify)

b) Grown outside or in greenhouse (or unknown)

c) Amount/number of intake (roughly. Small plate [<10cm diameter], middle-sized plate [10-20cm], or big plate [>20cm])

2) Whether a respondent drunk milk of cow or others like goat from March 11 to the end of March. If drunk,

a) Type of animal

b) How many cups? (1 cup =200 ml)

3) What was the water source for a respondent from March 11 to the end of March. (Mark that all apply). And, term a respondent drink the water (specify from date to date)

a) Tap water

b) Private water supply system or well

c) Bottled water

d) Others (specify)

Whether a respondent took potassium iodine or not from March 11 to the end of March. If yes, specify the date of intake.

Whether a respondent got screening for radioactive contamination. If yes, specify the date of screening and the place.

Whether a respondent did decontamination.

–  –  –  –  –  – Other check-ups –  –  –  –  –  –

Thyroid exam for children younger than 18 years old at March 11, and lived in Fukushima at that time. Approximately, 360,000 will be a target population. Preliminary exam will be done at the Fukushima Medical University during October, and then, will be done at 11 medical institutions in the prefecture. All will be done until March 2014, and will do continuous check-up every 2 years up to 20 years old. After 20 years old, exam will be every 5 years.

Procesure: 1st screening by ultrasound. 2nd screening by cytoscreening, blood and urine tests.

Purpose is to reassure parents, according to Dr. Yamashita, the VP of the university.

(Kahoku Shimpou News, July, 25)

The nation-wide epidemiological ‘eco-child study’ will add radiation exposure as a variable for Fukushima women who participate the study since the start, January, 2011. The study is to examine relationships between mothers’ conditions and newborns’ health (eg., allergy, asthma). The number of participants (pregnant women) are 100,000 all around Japan. (Asahi, August 12)

 

 

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