Cost-of-illness study of asthma in korea: Estimated from the korea national health insurance claims database

Choon Seon Paik, Hye Young Kang, I. Kwon, Dae Ryong Kang, Hye Young Jung

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20 Citations (Scopus)


We estimated the asthma-related health care utilization and costs in Korea from the insurer' s and societal perspective. Methods : We extracted the insurance claims records from the Korea National Health Insurance claims database for determining the health care services provided to patients with asthma in 2003. Patients were defined as having asthma if they had < 2 medical claims with diagnosis of asthma and they had been prescribed anti-asthma medicines. Annual claims records were aggeregated for each patient to produce patient-specific information on the total utilization and costs. The total asthma-related cost was the sum of the direct healthcare costs, the transportation costs for visits to healthcare providers and the patient's or caregivers' costs for the time spent on hospital or outpatient visits. Results : A total of 699,603people were identified as asthma patients, yielding an asthma prevalence of 1.47%. Each asthma patient had 7.56 outpatient visits, 0.01 ED visits and 0.02 admissions per year to treat asthma.The per-capita insurance-covered costs increased with age, from 128,276 Won for children aged 1 to 14 years to 270,729 Won for those aged 75 or older. The total cost in the nation varied from 121,865 million to 174,949 million Won depending on the perspectives. From a societal perspective, direct healthcare costs accounted for 84.9%, transportation costs for 15.1% and time costs for 9.2% of the total costs. Conclusions : Hospitalizations and ED visits represented only a small portion of the asthma-related costs. Most of the societal burden was attributed to direct medical expenditures, with outpatient visits and medications emerging as the single largest cost components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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