Prevalence and socio-economic burden of heart failure in an aging society of South Korea

Hankil Lee, Sung Hee Oh, Hyeonseok Cho, Hyun Jai Cho, Hye Young Kang

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Heart failure (HF) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in South Korea. With the rapidly aging population in the country, the prevalence of HF and its associated costs are expected to rise continuously. This study was carried out to estimate the prevalence and economic burden of HF in order to understand its impact on our society. Methods: A prevalence-based, cost-of-illness study was conducted using the 2014 Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service-National Patients Sample (HIRA-NPS) data. Adult HF patients were defined as those aged ≥19 years who had at least one insurance claim record with a primary or secondary diagnosis of HF (ICD-10 codes of I11.0, I13.0, I13.2, and I50.x). The costs consist of direct costs (i.e., medical and non-medical costs) and indirect costs (i.e., productivity loss cost due to morbidity and premature death). Subgroup analyses were conducted by age group, history of HF hospitalization, and type of universal health security program enrolled in. Results: A total of 475,019 adults were identified to have HF in 2014. The estimated prevalence rate of HF was 12.4 persons per 1,000 adults. According to the base cases and the extended definition of the cases, the annual economic burden of HF from a societal perspective ranges from USD 1,414.0 to 1,560.5 for individual patients, and from USD 752.8 million to 1,085.6 million for the country. A high percentage (68.5 %) of this socioeconomic burden consist of medical costs, followed by caregiver's cost (13.2 %), productivity loss costs due to premature death (10.8 %) and morbidity (4.2 %), and transportation costs (3.4 %). The HF patients with prior hospitalization due to HF annually spent 9.7 times more for National-Health-Insurance-covered medical costs compared to HF patients who were not previously hospitalized. Conclusions: In the present study, HF patients who were older and had a history of prior hospitalization for HF as well as an indigent status were shown at high risk of spending more for healthcare to treat their HF. An effective disease management protocol should be employed to target this patient group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 10

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by Novartis Korea Ltd.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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