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COVID-19: Original Article
Cause-specific mortality in Korea during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic
Jinwook Bahk, Kyunghee Jung-Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022110.   Published online November 23, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022110
  • 4,558 View
  • 153 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 3 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to examine the trends in total mortality between 1998 and 2020 and to compare the changes in a wide range of detailed causes of death between 2020 (i.e., during the coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19] pandemic) and the previous year in Korea.
METHODS
We used registered population and mortality data for the years 1998-2020 obtained from Statistics Korea. The age-standardized all-cause mortality rate and the annual percent change between 1998 and 2020 were determined. The rate ratio and rate difference of the age-standardized mortality rate between 2019 and 2020 were calculated.
RESULTS
The age-standardized all-cause mortality rate in Korea has been on a downward trend since 1998, and the decline continued in 2020. In 2020, 950 people died from COVID-19, accounting for 0.3% of all deaths. Mortality decreased for most causes of death; however, the number of deaths attributed to sepsis and aspiration pneumonia increased between 2019 and 2020 for both men and women. Age-specific mortality rates decreased or remained stable between 2019 and 2020 for all age groups, except women aged 25-29. This increase was mainly attributed to a higher number of suicide deaths.
CONCLUSIONS
This study shed light on the issues of sepsis and aspiration pneumonia despite the successful response to COVID-19 in Korea in 2020. Cases of death from sepsis and aspiration pneumonia should be identified and monitored. In addition, it is necessary to develop a proactive policy to address suicide among young people, especially young women.
Summary
Korean summary
1998년 이래 한국의 연령표준화 총사망률은 지속적으로 감소하였고, 이러한 경향은 코로나19 대유행 첫해인 2020년에도 관찰되었다. 대부분 사망원인별 사망률이 코로나19 대유행이후에도 감소하였으나, 패혈증 및 흡인성 폐렴으로 인한 사망자가 남성과 여성 모두에서 증가했다. 연령별 사망률에서는 25-29세 여성을 제외한 모든 연령대에서 2019년에 비해 2020년 사망률이 감소하거나 유지되었고, 25-29세 여성의 사망률 증가는 주로 자살 사망의 증가에 기인했다.
Key Message
During 1988-2020, the age-standardized all-cause mortality rate in Korea has been on a downward trend and the decline continued in 2020. In 2020, mortality decreased for most causes of death, however, the number of deaths attributed to sepsis and aspiration pneumonia increased between 2019 and 2020. Age-specific mortality rates decreased or remained stable between 2019 and 2020 for all age groups, except women aged 25-29. This was mainly attributed to increased suicide deaths.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Suicide mortality rates in Japan before and beyond the COVID‐19 pandemic era
    Motohiro Okada, Ryusuke Matsumoto, Eishi Motomura
    Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences Reports.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Temporal Fluctuations of Suicide Mortality in Japan from 2009 to 2023 Using Government Databases
    Ryusuke Matsumoto, Eishi Motomura, Motohiro Okada
    European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education.2024; 14(4): 1086.     CrossRef
  • Evaluation of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the all-cause, cause-specific mortality, YLL, and life expectancy in the first 2 years in an Iranian population—an ecological study
    Zahra Pirayesh, Seyed Mohammad Riahi, Ali Bidokhti, Toba Kazemi
    Frontiers in Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Data Profile
The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data linked Cause of Death data
Sungha Yun, Kyungwon Oh
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022021.   Published online February 9, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022021
  • 13,876 View
  • 670 Download
  • 8 Web of Science
  • 8 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) is a national health survey that is conducted annually to assess the health and and health-related behaviors of Korean population. To utilize KNHANES data to studies of mortality risk factors, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) constructed a database linking KNHANES data to cause-of-death statistics in Statistics Korea, made available to researchers since 2020. The KNHANES data were linked to the Cause of Death Statistics based on resident registration numbers for subjects aged 19 years or older who agreed to link the data. The linkage rate between 2007-2015 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and 2007-2019 Cause of Death Statistics was 97.1%. In the linked dataset, the total death rate was 6.6%, of which neoplasms accounted for the highest death rate (32.1%), followed by circulatory system disease (22.7%) and respiratory system disease (11.5%). The linked dataset was made available through the Research Data Center of the KDCA after a review of the research proposal, and will be made available after periodical updates.
Summary
Korean summary
1. 국민건강영양조사 자료가 사망 위험요인 규명 연구에 활용되도록 통계청의 사망원인통계와 연계자료 구축함 2. 2007~2015년 국민건강영양조사와 2007~2019년 사망원인통계의 연계율은 97.1%이었음 3. 국민건강영양조사-사망원인통계 연계자료는 2020년부터 연구자에게 질병관리청 내 학술연구자료처리실를 통해 제공되고 있음
Key Message
1. To utilize the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) data to studies of mortality risk factors, the data were linked to the Cause of Death Statistics in the Statistics Korea. 2. The linkage rate between the 2007-2015 KNHANES and the 2007-2019 Cause of Death Statistics was 97.1%. 3. The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data linked Cause of Death data have been provided to researchers through the Research Data Center in the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) since 2020.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Chronic Disease Patterns and Their Relationship With Health-Related Quality of Life in South Korean Older Adults With the 2021 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: Latent Class Analysis
    Mi-Sun Lee, Hooyeon Lee
    JMIR Public Health and Surveillance.2024; 10: e49433.     CrossRef
  • Computational method of the cardiovascular diseases classification based on a generalized nonlinear canonical decomposition of random sequences
    Igor Atamanyuk, Yuriy Kondratenko, Valerii Havrysh, Yuriy Volosyuk
    Scientific Reports.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • The Association between Advanced Liver Fibrosis and Mortality Is Modified by Dietary Quality among Korean Adults: Results from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey with Mortality Data
    Juhee Lee, Garam Jo, Dahyun Park, Hee Ju Jun, Jae Hyun Bae, Min-Jeong Shin
    Nutrients.2023; 15(6): 1501.     CrossRef
  • Association of dietary sodium intake with impaired fasting glucose in adult cancer survivors: A population-based cross-sectional study
    Kyuwoong Kim, Hamee Kim, Tae Joon Jun, Young-Hak Kim, Dong Keon Yon
    PLOS ONE.2023; 18(5): e0286346.     CrossRef
  • Fibrosis-4 Index Predicts Long-Term All-Cause, Cardiovascular and Liver-Related Mortality in the Adult Korean Population
    Young-Gyun Seo, Stergios A. Polyzos, Kyung-Hee Park, Christos S. Mantzoros
    Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.2023; 21(13): 3322.     CrossRef
  • The serotype-specific prevalence of pneumococci in hospitalized pneumonia patients with COPD: a prospective, multi-center, cohort study
    Jae Yeol Kim, Jae-Woo Jung, Min-Jong Kang, Deog Kyeom Kim, Hayoung Choi, Young-Jae Cho, Seung Hun Jang, Chang-Hoon Lee, Yeon Mok Oh, Ji Sook Park
    The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine.2023; 38(5): 714.     CrossRef
  • The Korea Cohort Consortium: The Future of Pooling Cohort Studies
    Sangjun Lee, Kwang-Pil Ko, Jung Eun Lee, Inah Kim, Sun Ha Jee, Aesun Shin, Sun-Seog Kweon, Min-Ho Shin, Sangmin Park, Seungho Ryu, Sun Young Yang, Seung Ho Choi, Jeongseon Kim, Sang-Wook Yi, Daehee Kang, Keun-Young Yoo, Sue K. Park
    Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health.2022; 55(5): 464.     CrossRef
  • Self-perceived Weight and Mortality in Korean Adults Based on the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data Linked to Cause of Death Statistics
    Kayoung Lee
    Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome.2022; 31(4): 313.     CrossRef
Original Articles
A comprehensive study of deaths due to exposure to humidifier disinfectant in Korea: focusing on medical records, assessment of exposure to humidifier disinfectants, and causes of death
Yeong Jun Ju, Seungho Lee, Seungsoo Sheen, Dong-Woo Choi, Jong-Han Leem, Soon Young Lee
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021091.   Published online November 1, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021091
  • 9,615 View
  • 293 Download
  • 4 Web of Science
  • 3 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We aimed to determine the characteristics of the deceased victims of deaths caused by exposure to humidifier disinfectants, and present the distribution of the victims’ data submitted for damage application, demographic characteristics, imaging findings, characteristics of humidifier disinfectant exposure, and distribution of the causes of death.
METHODS
An integrated database of victims was established using the medical records data of 1,413 victims submitted during the application for death damage caused by exposure to humidifier disinfectants, and the demographic characteristics, medical records, imaging findings, exposure characteristics, and cause of death were examined.
RESULTS
The average numbers of data submissions of each applicant for death damage were 3.0 medical use records. A total of 608 (43.0%) victims had more than one finding of acute, subacute, or chronic interstitial lung diseases. The average daily and cumulative use times of the victims were 14.40 and 24,645.81 hours, respectively, indicating greater exposure in this group than in the survivors. The humidifier disinfectants’ components comprised polyhexamethylene guanidine (72.8%), chloromethylisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (10.5%), other components (15.0%), and oligo-[2-(2-ethoxy)-ethoxyethyl] guanidine chloride (1.5%). The components’ distribution was 67.8% for single-component use, which was higher than that in the survivors (59.8%). The distribution of the causes of death were: respiratory diseases (54.4%), neoplasms (16.8%), and circulatory diseases (6.3%). Other interstitial lung diseases (65.5%) were the most common cause of death among those who died due to respiratory diseases.
CONCLUSIONS
Careful discussions of appropriate remedies should be conducted based on a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of the deceased victims, considering their specificities and limitations.
Summary
Korean summary
가습기 살균제 사망 피해 신청자 들 중 건강피해를 인정받지 못한 신청자들이 여전히 많이 남아있으며 (약 40%), 피해판정의 복잡성과 다양한 이슈들이 산적해 있어 사망 피해 신청자들의 적정 구제를 위해 종합적인 특성파악을 바탕으로 세심한 관점에서의 검토가 필요하다. 특히, 가습기 살균제 사망 피해 신청자의 특수성과 피해구제의 제한점을 고려하여야 하며, 기계적인 건강피해 판정을 지양하고 사망 피해 신청자 중심의 세밀한 특성 파악을 바탕으로 다양한 전문가집단이 참여하는 종합적인 논의를 통해 적정구제를 이루어 나가야 함을 제안한다.
Key Message
Careful discussions of appropriate remedies should be conducted based on a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of the deceased victims, considering their specificities and limitations.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Polyhexamethylene Guanidine Phosphate Enhanced Procoagulant Activity through Oxidative-Stress-Mediated Phosphatidylserine Exposure in Platelets
    Ju Hee Choi, Keunyoung Kim
    Toxics.2024; 12(1): 50.     CrossRef
  • Gene expression related to lung cancer altered by PHMG-p treatment in PBTE cells
    Yoon Hee Park, Sang Hoon Jeong, Hyejin Lee, Cherry Kim, Yoon Jeong Nam, Ja Young Kang, Jin Young Choi, Yu-Seon Lee, Su A. Park, Jaeyoung Kim, Eun-Kee Park, Yong-Wook Baek, Hong Lee, Ju-Han Lee
    Molecular & Cellular Toxicology.2023; 19(1): 205.     CrossRef
  • Health Effects Associated With Humidifier Disinfectant Use: A Systematic Review for Exploration
    Ji-Hun Song, Joonho Ahn, Min Young Park, Jaeyoung Park, Yu Min Lee, Jun-Pyo Myong, Jung-Wan Koo, Jongin Lee
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
Study on the External Causes of Mortality In Korea.
Rim Hak Kim, Chul Hyun Nam, Gui Hee Kim, Sung Woo Kim
Korean J Epidemiol. 2001;23(2):64-74.
  • 5,116 View
  • 14 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
PURPOSE
This study was conducted to analysis the trends and states of external auses of mortality in Korea from 1985 to 1998.
METHODS
This study was based on data published in 1985-1998 from the annual report of cause of death statistics of National Statistical Office.
RESULTS
In the proportion of total death cases during 1985-1998, External causes of mortality was ranged from 11 percent to 15 percent. Death rate(per 100,000) of external causes of mortality(ECM) decreased recently from 85.7 in 1991 to 68.9 in 1998. Death rate of ECM in male was 2.6 times higher than that of female. Among total cases of ECM, the first leading cause of death was transport accidents. intentional self-harm was the second leading cause of death(26.8 percent in 1998). In trends of death rate(per 100,000) for ECM during 1885-1998, there were decreased for following causes of death; transport accidents, falls, accidental drowning and submersion, exposure to smoke, fire and flames, accidential poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances, Death rates of ententional self-harm and assault were increased during the periods. The age specific death rate increased with age for all ECM except for assault. The risk of death caused by ECM was higher in aged 65 and over than in ages 0-19 years among all ECM. The risk of death for male aged 65 and over were 6.9 times in transport accidents, 26 times in fall, 37 times in accidential poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances, and 18 times in intentional self-harm compared with 0-19 years. The risk of death for female aged 65 and over were 27 times in fall, 22 times in accidential poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances compared with 0-19 years. In seasonal variation of ECM cases for 1998. There was highest proportion in August(10.4 percent). The highest proportion by death seasion were winter(32.7 percent) in exposure to smoke, fire and flames, summer(27,7 percent) in fall, summer(52.4 percent) in accidental drowning and submersion, summer in 32.0 percent) in accidential poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances, spring(28.2 percent) in intentional self-harm, assault. and autumn(28.2 percent) in transport accidents.
CONCLUSION
Above results suggest that a preventive education program for safety accidents should be developed by considering gender and age of the objecties and seasons of the year.
Summary
A Comparison of Occupation, Education, and Cause of Death from National Death Certificates and Deaths Data Due to Workplace Injuries from WELCO in Korea.
Mia Son
Korean J Epidemiol. 2001;23(2):44-51.
  • 38,710 View
  • 19 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
PURPOSE
The variables (occupation, education, cause of death, age, and sex) on death certificates can be used for health related studies, however, there has been little research on health related studies using death certificates in Korea. Also, the validity of the values of these variables on death certificates is questionable in Korea. Therefore, we compared occupation, data obtained from WELCO(Korea Labour Welfare Corporation) between 1995 and 1997.
METHODS
WELCO data on deaths due to workplace injury between 1995-1997 were merged with data from NSO on deaths occurring during the same period, using social security numbers. Out of a total of 7,698 deaths due to workplace injury reported to WELCO between 1995 and 1997, final study population are linked to 6,513 deaths among aged 20-64 between 1995 and 1997. On linking the data sets, two different sources of data are cross-tabulated to determine the percentage of agreement. Expected agreement and Kappa index are also calculated.
RESULTS
The results are as follows : Some manual workers are promoted into the non-manual group in the national death data from the National Statistics Office. Educational groups are promoted or demoted between NSO and WELCO death data. The Kappa index for occupational group is 0.49 when the occupational groups are categorised as manual and non-manual workers. The Kappa index is 0.50 in the two-category classification for education : beyond and below university levels; 0.32 in the three-category classification : university, high-school and less than middle-school; 0.25 in the four category classification : university, high-school, middle-school and less than elementary school. The Kappa index is 0.69 for the three-category disease classification : injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00-T98, ICD10), disease of the circulatory system(I00-I99, ICD10) and other disease categories except the two-category classification. The Kappa index for the 5-year age band is 0.99. There is no disagreement for the sex.
CONCLUSIONS
The comparison between national workplace injury data and national death data and tells us that occupational and educational variables are not in the range of 'excellent agreement' suggested by Koch(1997). Our comparison study suggests strong prediction of random errors as well as systemic errors. As for the cause of death, injury and cardiovascular disease from the NSO data are well-matched with those from the WELCO workplace injury death data. However, this comparison may have a limitation as the present study is confined to comparing only the categories of infury and cardiovascular disease. This study suggests that national death data as well as workplace injury data need to be improved for use as health indicators in studies relating socio-economic factors and working conditions to mortality in Korea.
Summary

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health