Burden and management of noncommunicable diseases after earthquakes and tsunamis

Amit Suneja, Maxim Gakh, Lainie Rutkow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This integrative review examines extant literature assessing the burden and management of noncommunicable diseases 6 months or more after earthquakes and tsunamis. We conducted an integrative review to identify and characterize the strength of published studies about noncommunicable disease-specific outcomes and interventions at least 6 months after an earthquake and/or tsunami. We included disasters that occurred from 2004 to 2016. We focused primarily on the World Health Organization noncommunicable disease designations to define chronic disease, but we also included chronic renal disease, risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, and other chronic diseases or symptoms. After removing duplicates, our search yielded 6,188 articles. Twenty-five articles met our inclusion criteria, some discussing multiple noncommunicable diseases. Results demonstrate that existing medical conditions may worsen and subsequently improve, new diseases may develop, and risk factors, such as weight and cholesterol levels, may increase for several years after an earthquake and/or tsunami. We make 3 recommendations for practitioners and researchers: (1) plan for noncommunicable disease management further into the recovery period of disaster; (2) increase research on the burden of noncommunicable diseases, the treatment modalities employed, resulting population-level outcomes in the postdisaster setting, and existing models to improve stakeholder coordination and action regarding noncommunicable diseases after disasters; and (3) coordinate with preexisting provision networks, especially primary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-47
Number of pages18
JournalHealth Security
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Chronic diseases
  • Earthquakes
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Tsunamis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Burden and management of noncommunicable diseases after earthquakes and tsunamis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this