Economic burden of acute pesticide poisoning in South Korea

Yeongchull Choi, Younhee Kim, Yousun Ko, Eun S. Cha, Jaeyoung Kim, Won J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To investigate the magnitude and characteristics of the economic burden resulting from acute pesticide poisoning (APP) in South Korea. Methods The total costs of APP from a societal perspective were estimated by summing the direct medical and non-medical costs together with the indirect costs. Direct medical costs for patients assigned a disease code of pesticide poisoning were extracted from the Korean National Health Insurance Reimbursement Data. Direct non-medical costs were estimated using the average transportation and caregiving costs from the Korea Health Panel Survey. Indirect costs, incurred by pre-mature deaths and work loss, were obtained using 2009 Life Tables for Korea and other relevant literature. Results In 2009, a total of 11453 patients were treated for APP and 1311 died, corresponding to an incidence of 23.1 per 100000 population and a mortality rate of 2.6 per 100000 population in South Korea. The total costs of APP were estimated at approximately US$ 150million, 0.3% of the costs of total diseases. Costs due to pre-mature mortality accounted for 90.6% of the total costs, whereas the contribution of direct medical costs was relatively small. Conclusion Costs from APP demonstrate a unique characteristic of a large proportion of the indirect costs originating from pre-mature mortality. This finding suggests policy implications for restrictions on lethal pesticides and safe storage to reduce fatality and cost due to APP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1534-1543
Number of pages10
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec


  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Cost
  • Policy
  • Regulation
  • Societal burden

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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