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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 51(9); 2008 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2008;51(9):791-798.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2008.51.9.791   
The Present State of Diabetes Mellitus in Korea
Sin Gon Kim, Dong Seop Choi
Department of Internal Medicine, Korea Univerisity College of Medicine, Korea. k50367@korea.ac.kr, cdongs@kmuc.or.kr
Diabetes mellitus has approached to us as a social epidemic in Korea. The prevalence of diabetes in Korea has increased five to six-fold from 1.5% to 7~9% during the past 30 years. This increasing rate is remarkably high in comparison with those of developed countries such as the USA- doubled during the past 30 years. In addition, diabetic complication is very common in Korean diabetic patients. For example, a total of 70.5% among new patients who were started with renal replacement therapy had diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, diabetes-related mortality has rapidly increased over the last 20 years. The age-sex adjusted mortality rate of diabetic patients was about three-fold higher than those of general population. As a result, medical cost of diabetes mellitus covered by the national health insurance corporation was 3.2 trillion won and accounted for 19.2% of all medical costs. On the other hand, the rate of awareness and treatment in diabetic patients has improved from 1998 to 2005. However, the proportion of adequate glycemic control (HbA1c < 7%) among the treated diabetic patients was only 40%. The comprehensive and integrated health intervention including public approach is urgently needed to control the increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus and its related undesirable outcomes.
Key Words: Diabetes mellitus, Prevalence, Epidemic, Medical cost, Korea


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