Korea heart disease fact sheet 2020: Analysis of nationwide data

Hyeok Hee Lee, So Mi Jemma Cho, Hokyou Lee, Jongmin Baek, Jang Ho Bae, Wook Jin Chung, Hyeon Chang Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Heart disease has been the leading cause of death in Korea for nearly a decade. To provide an overview of the temporal trends in the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the Korean Society of Cardiology has published the Korea Heart Disease Fact Sheet in 2020. We analyzed the Korean Statistical Information Service data, National Health Insurance Big Data, and Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess mortality, hospitalization, and risk factors for CVD. The CVD mortality decreased until 2010, then steadily increased up to 123 per 100,000 persons in 2018. Since 2002, the number and rate of CVD hospitalization have continued to grow. In 2018, approximately 12.1 million Korean adults had hypertension, 4.3 million had diabetes, 8.7 million had hypercholesterolemia, 14.9 million had obesity, and 8.8 million were currently smoking. The number of risk factors increased markedly with older age; 58.4% of adult's age ≥70 years had ≥2 risk factors. In summary, CVD mortality and hospitalization have gradually increased in the last decade, and substantially high proportion of adults were carrying more than 1 cardiovascular risk factor in 2018. With rapid population aging, continued increase in CVD appears inevitable in Korea. Concerted and sustained approaches are essential to achieve early prevention and reduce the burden of CVD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65
JournalKorean Circulation Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021. The Korean Society of Cardiology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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