Annual Trends in the Incidence and Prevalence of Alzheimer's Disease in South Korea: A Nationwide Cohort Study

Min Seok Baek, Han Kyeol Kim, Kyungdo Han, Hyuk Sung Kwon, Han Kyu Na, Chul Hyoung Lyoo, Hanna Cho

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Despite recent studies suggesting a declining incidence and prevalence of dementia on a global scale, epidemiologic results with respect to Alzheimer's disease (AD) are lacking due to the methodological limitations inherent to conducting large-scale cohort investigations of this topic. The aim of the current study was to investigate the incidence and prevalence of AD in Korea. We conducted a secondary analysis within the National Health Insurance System (NHIS) database, a unique resource that reports medical information for the entire Korean population. AD diagnoses as well as evaluations of vascular risks were defined based on International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codes along with prescription records. The cut-off age for diagnosing AD was defined as the age of the patient's highest Youden index. In this study, the incidence and prevalence of AD in the Korean population aged 40 years or older showed an overall increase between 2006 and 2015. Although both older and younger age groups showed an increase in the incidence and prevalence of AD, the highest increase was observed in older age groups. Based on the highest Youden's index value (sensitivity + specificity – 1), the cut-off value for the diagnosis of AD was 69 years with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.92. We found that the incidence of AD was higher in individuals with underlying vascular risks. However, in recent years, the prevalence of AD was conversely found to be lower in individuals with hypertension or dyslipidemia. Despite efforts toward reducing the number of AD cases through educational, policy, and various public health and preventive medicine interventions, the incidence and prevalence of AD continues to grow in Korea. Efforts aimed at early diagnosis and the modification of underlying risks may be critical to reducing the socioeconomic burden of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number883549
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 19

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine for (6-2018-0068), Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF2020R1F1A1076154, NRF2018R1D1A1B07049386, and NRF2022R1C1C1012535), and a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant number: HI18C1159, HU20C0164).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Baek, Kim, Han, Kwon, Na, Lyoo and Cho.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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