Public Health , Basic Medicine


Extending Healthy Life Expectancy through Prevention of Lifestyle-related Diseases and Aging ?From Epidemiological Evidence to Healthcare Policy?

  • Master / Doctoral Degree


TSUJI, IchiroTSUJI, Ichiro
TSUJI, Ichiro

Professor, M.D. Ph.D.

*Concurrent Position

Research Theme

  • Large-scale cohort studies to identify risk factors for lifestyle-related diseases
  • Cohort and intervention studies for prevention of aging (such as disability and dementia)
  • Doctorial Course, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
Research Keywords:

healthy life expectancy, cancer, cardiovascular disease, aging, Tohoku great earthquake victims

Technical Keywords:

epidemiology, statistics, cohort study, intervention study

Laboratory Introduction

Our main research themes involve identifying risk factors for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and aging (including disability and dementia) using observational epidemiology methods, and verifying the effectiveness of preventive health services using intervention epidemiology methods. Our division manages two cohort study datasets covering 50,000 subjects each. For more than 20 years we have investigated associations between this detailed lifestyle and diagnostic data, and subsequent mortality risk, incident risk of cancer, healthcare costs, risk of certificate of long-term care insurance, and incident risk of dementia. The only sites in Japan covering cohorts of this magnitude at a single institution are the National Cancer Center and our division. We have fully utilized this abundant resource to publish in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, and our findings have received attention worldwide. We propose policies for the extension of a healthy life expectancy based on this epidemiological evidence.
We conduct health studies of Tohoku great earthquake victims every six months in cooperation with the Center for Community Health. We identify factors that affect the mental and physical health of victims and propose suitable policies for supporting their resilience. In addition, we are actively involved in the health support of victims such as in health check-up, health education, and classroom to improve nutrition and exercise.
We also believe it is very important to educate and train the next generation of human resources in epidemiology and public health such as epidemiologists, health policy administrators, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals who are mindful of disease prevention.

Figure 1. Association between Japanese dietary pattern and incident functional disability

Figure 1. Association between Japanese dietary pattern and incident functional disability

Figure 2. Community survey for disaster victims in Sendai on Feb 2012

Figure 2. Community survey for disaster victims in Sendai on Feb 2012

Recent Publications

  • Sugiyama K, et al. Association between Coffee Consumption and Incident Risk of Disabling Dementia in?Elderly Japanese: The Ohsaki Cohort 2006?Study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2015 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Tomata Y, et al. Long-term impact of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on functional disability among older people: A 3-year longitudinal comparison of disability prevalence among Japanese municipalities. Soc Sci Med. 2015;147:296-9.
  • Tanji F, et al. Personality and suicide risk: the impact of economic crisis in Japan. Psychol Med. 2015;45(3):559-73.
  • Kumagai Y, et al. Dietary patterns and colorectal cancer risk in Japan: the Ohsaki Cohort Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2014;25(6):727-36.
  • Chen Y, et al. Association between body mass index and cardiovascular disease mortality in east Asians and south Asians: pooled analysis of prospective data from the Asia Cohort Consortium. BMJ. 2013 Oct 1;347:f5446