The status and distinct characteristics of endocrine diseases in North Korean articles published between 2006 and 2015

Kyeong Jin Kim, Shin Ha, Yo Han Lee, Jung Hyun Noh, Sin Gon Kim

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Past decades of division have led to substantial differences in medical environments between South and North Korea. However, little is known about North Korea's medical status and research field, especially regarding endocrinology. In this study, we report the characteristics of North Korea's articles regarding endocrine-related diseases. Methods: Among the nine medical journals, articles published in Internal Medicine between 2006 and 2015 were reviewed. A total of 2,092 articles were included; among them, 96 articles were associated with endocrinology. We analyzed these articles according to the disease categories they focused on and evaluated their features. Results: Articles related to diabetes mellitus accounted for 55.2% (n=53) and those to thyroid disease accounted for 28.1% (n=27). Other disease categories, including adrenal gland (n=1), pituitary gland (n=1), and osteoporosis (n=3), comprised minor portions. Regarding diabetes mellitus, more than half the articles (n=33) focused on treatment and complications. Experimental studies were conducted with old hypoglycemic drugs or natural substances for the treatment of hyperglycemia. Regarding thyroid disease, articles related to hyperthyroidism were the most common (51.9%, n=14), followed by thyroid nodule/cancer (18.5%, n=5). Unique article features were short length, no figures, and less than five references. Conclusion: North Korea's endocrinology articles mainly focused on diabetes mellitus and thyroid disease. Persistent studies have been carried out in North Korea with dedication despite the poor medical environment. We hope that this study will be the beginning of mutual medical exchange and collaboration between North and South Korea.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)268-272
    Number of pages5
    JournalEndocrinology and Metabolism
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2018 Korean Endocrine Society.


    • Biomedical research
    • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
    • Endocrinology

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Endocrinology


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