The association between frequency of laughter and socioeconomic status after the Great East Japan Earthquake


  • M. Hirosaki
  • T. Ohira
  • M. Harigane
  • M. Murakami
  • Y. Suzuki
  • H. Takahashi
  • S. Yasumura
  • M. Abe


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between frequency of daily laughter and disaster-related, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors among residents in evacuation zone after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Methods: In a cross-sectional study of 52320 participants (23115 men and 29205 women) aged 20 years and older who were included in the Fukushima Health Management Survey in 2012, information on disaster-related factors such as changed work situation, the number of family members and the number of address change, and other sociodemographic, psychological, and lifestyle factors, as well as frequency of daily laughter was obtained from the self-reported questionnaire. The main outcome was frequency of laughter (laughing almost every day). Association between the above mentioned factors and frequency of laughter were examined using logistic regression analysis. Findings: Multivariable models adjusting for demographics, psychological, and lifestyle factors demonstrated that the increase of family members and fewer change of address were significantly associated with high frequency of laughter. Better self-rated economic and health status, lower degree of psychological distress and traumatic symptom, high frequency of exercise, and participation in recreational activity were also associated with high frequency of laughter. Discussion: Disaster-related factors, as well as socioeconomic, psychological and lifestyle factors were associated with frequency of daily laughter. Enhancing social interaction in evacuation zones after a disaster by community-based intervention would be important to increase the frequency of laughter.





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