The economic burden of rheumatic heart disease in South Korea

Hye Young Seo, Seok Jun Yoon, Eun Jung Kim, In Hwan Oh, Yo Han Lee, Young Ae Kim

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Understanding the impact of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) has become increasingly important among aging populations around the world, and Korea is no exception. This study was conducted to estimate total annual patient costs associated with RHD in Korea for 2008 using nationally representative data. The subjects were South Korean citizens with RHD (ICD-10 codes I01-I09). The primary information for this study was obtained from claims data compiled by the National Health Insurance Corporation of Korea. Direct medical care costs were estimated using expenses paid by insurers and patients for non-covered care and pharmaceutical costs. Direct non-medical costs were estimated using data on transportation costs for hospital visits and costs for caregivers. Indirect costs included the costs of productivity loss and premature death in RHD patients. The economic burden of RHD in 2008 was estimated at $67.25 million US dollars. The indirect costs amounted to 39.04 % (US $26.26 million) of the total RHD costs. When stratified by age, the costs incurred by the group of patients older than 60 years were US $31.63 million. The prevalence of the disease in the same age group was 791.07 cases per 100,000 people. This study confirms that the prevalence of RHD was highest in patients older than 60 years in 2008. Furthermore, the patterns of disease in South Korea were similar to patterns observed in other high-income countries. These findings indicate that secondary prevention strategies for the early detection of RHD are needed in South Korea.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1505-1510
    Number of pages6
    JournalRheumatology International
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Acknowledgments This study was part of the research program (to measure the economic burden of cardio-cerebrovascular disease in Korea, application R1006511), financed by the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, the study used data from the Korea Health Panel, with access made possible by the assistance of Dr. Jung Young Ho, whose assistance we greatly appreciate.


    • Direct and indirect costs
    • Economic burden of disease
    • RHD costs
    • Rheumatic heart disease

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Rheumatology
    • Immunology


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