Birth Rates in Fukushima City Before, After Nuclear Disaster

Bottom Line: An earthquake and subsequent tsunami led to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Japan in 2011. This observational study examined associations between the earthquake and power plant disaster with birth rates in Fukushima City, the capital of the prefecture. There was an estimated 10 percent reduction in monthly birth rates in the first two years after the disaster but after that the trend in birth rates was similar to before the disaster, a finding the authors suggest may be indicative of rebuilding efforts. The study acknowledges the potential for underestimation of birth rates several years after the disaster.

Author: Noriaki Kurita, M.D., Ph.D., Fukushima Medical University Hospital, Fukushima City, Japan