New Study: “Depopulation with Rapid Aging” after Fukushima Daiichi disaster

Published: December 14th, 2012 at 3:42 pm ET


Title: Depopulation with Rapid Aging in Minamisoma City After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident
Source: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Article first published online: 11 DEC 2012


Kazunobu Ishikawa MD; Center for Medical Education and Career Development, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan & Department of Cardiology, Fukushima Medical University Hospital, Fukushima, Japan
Yukio Kanazawa; Department of Gastrointestinal Medicine, Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital, Minamisoma, Japan
Shigeto Morimoto; Department of Geriatric Medicine, Kanazawa Medical University, Kahoku-gun, Japan
Takashi Takahashi; Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Infection Control Sciences, Kitasato University, Minato-ku, Japan

No Abstract Available

Published: December 14th, 2012 at 3:42 pm ET


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14 comments to New Study: “Depopulation with Rapid Aging” after Fukushima Daiichi disaster

  • Fukslow


  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    This is the tinest little tip of the iceberg. Even before Fikushima, Japan's population was already aging, and in slow decline, with a stagnant economy. Fuku has put this decline into overdrive.

    If you are young and still in Japan,
    Get out now, quick as you can.

    There is no future for you there, and every day you stay, you are eating and breathing in a highly contaminated environment, that will very likely kill you if you stay. If you stay, how will you find work as Japan falls from recession into depression? Japan is toast. Done. Finished. Japanese culture may live on in books and movies, but Japanese culture will not live on much longer in Japan. You don't want to stay on to witness the sickening and dying that is most certainly coming to your town, the result of radiation plumes, "Support By Eating", incineration of radiation contaminated debris, and attempts by the government and nuke industry to restart nuke plants.

    If you believe you must stay, then spend all of your free time on the campaign to rid Japan of your 50+ nukes.
    If you leave, good luck, and please stay in touch with family members staying in Japan until the end.

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    Rapid Aging all over the U.S., East Coast, West Cost and in-between, including babies dying from radiation before they are even born.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    They really need to find a way to stop this nuclear disaster.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Depopulation with Rapid Aging in Minamisoma City After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident
    “…In April 2012, the government released newly revised guidelines regarding the evacuation zones from the plant, but wide-area evacuation still continues in Fukushima. The population of 72,000 in Minamisoma before the accident decreased to approximately 10,000 just after the accident. On March 29, 2012, it had recovered to approximately 45,000. The proportion of those aged 65 and older increased from 25.9% to 32.1% (Figure 1A). In addition, the retention rate of population according to age group has dramatically changed (Figure 1B). Many younger than 40, especially infants, children, and young parents, moved out of the communities because of fear regarding radiation exposure, causing a rapid increase in the proportion of elderly people. In addition, loss of ordinary lifestyle may inhibit activities of daily living of older adults. Elderly adults dislike moving, and many continued to live there, suggesting the breakup of communities and families. The average age of the population in Minamisoma has increased by 14 years because of the nuclear disaster, with younger people leaving, whereas older people have stayed behind, reaching the level that it had been estimated it would reach by 2025. Similar events have been observed in Futaba county and Iitate village near Minamisoma….”

    • lam335 lam335

      Thanks. I was going to post that paragraph. When I initially saw the headline, I thought they were suggesting that the radiation is causing aging-type effects in individuals. But the article isn't saying that. The headline just refers to a demographic shift (or, more precisely, the exacerbation of a pre-existing demographic trend). Since many young people have evacuated while many older people have chosen to stay, the overall average population for the area is "older" than it was before 3/11.

      The article also states:

      "According to the latest data (February 20, 2012), 99.3% of 9,747 people living in towns or villages close to the plant received an accumulated effective dose of less than 10 mSv during the first 4 months after the accident. The highest dose was 23 mSv, well below the acute exposure level (100 mSv) related to a slight increase in risk of malignant diseases. "

      So although the headline initially seems to announce negative health impacts on the population, the article does not do so. In fact, it ultimately seems more calculated to suggest (implicitly) that younger people should return to the region. No doubt its authors would say that they are merely documenting an objective, empirical observation, but I bet the way this data will get interpreted by the Japanese government is as supporting their belief that evacuees should return.

      Personally, I think ALL of the young people should get out of there, and I wish all of the older people would…

    • Thanks for clarifying.

  • Nuclear-NotCleanNotGreen


    "Ionizing radiation and aging: rejuvenating an old idea"

    * "It is acknowledged that much of the evidence relevant to radiation and aging is for high doses; yet this review highlights where possible the evidence produced by low dose and low dose rate studies."

    * "Long after exposure, a declining naïve T-cell pool was found to be associated with both radiation and aging [24]."

    * "Kusunoki and Hayashi [23] proposed that radiation accelerated the natural processes associated with immunological aging."

    * "IR can promote the characteristics of aging in tissues, such as increased inflammation and fibrosis…"

    * "An age-associated decline in nucleotide excision repair has been demonstrated by UV irradiation of human dermal fibroblast cultures [86]."

    * "In general, radiation-mediated aging appears to be more associated with free-radical damage, DSBs, apoptosis and inflammation rather than dysfunctional metabolic processes."

    * "The case is well documented for radiation-induced aging at high doses."