The present state of diabetes mellitus in Korea

Sin Gon Kim, Dong Seop Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-798
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epidemic
  • Korea
  • Medical cost
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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