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5 "Health inequities"
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Determinants of unhealthy living by gender, age group, and chronic health conditions across districts in Korea using the 2010-2017 Community Health Surveys
Thi Tra Bui, Thi Huyen Trang Nguyen, Jinhee Lee, Sun Young Kim, Jin-Kyoung Oh
Epidemiol Health. 2024;46:e2024014.   Published online January 4, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2024014
  • 2,605 View
  • 75 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We investigated the prevalence and determinants of unhealthy living by gender, age, and comorbidities across Korean districts.
METHODS
For 806,246 men and 923,260 women from 245 districts who participated in the 2010-2017 Korean Community Health Surveys, risk scores were calculated based on obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, and high-risk alcohol consumption, each scored from 0 (lowest risk) to 2 (highest risk). A risk score ≥4 was defined as indicating unhealthy living, and weighted proportions were calculated for each district. Using multivariate regression, an ecological model including community socioeconomic, interpersonal, and neighborhood factors was examined by gender, age, and comorbidities.
RESULTS
The mean age-standardized rate of unhealthy living was 24.05% for men and 4.91% for women (coefficients of variation, 13.94% and 29.51%, respectively). Individuals with chronic diseases more frequently exhibited unhealthy lifestyles. Unhealthy lifestyles were associated with educational attainment (β-coefficients: men, -0.21; women, -0.15), high household income (β=0.08 and 0.03, respectively), pub density (β=0.52 and 0.22, respectively), and fast-food outlet density (β=2.81 and 1.63, respectively). Negative associations were observed with manual labor, social activity participation, and hospital bed density. Unhealthy living was positively associated with living alone among women and with being unemployed among middle-aged men. Access to parks was negatively associated with unhealthy living among young men and women. The ecological model explained 32% of regional variation in men and 41% in women.
CONCLUSIONS
Improving the neighborhood built and socioeconomic environment may reduce regional disparities in lifestyle behaviors; however, the impacts may vary according to socio-demographic traits and comorbidities.
Summary
Korean summary
- 시군구 지역단위의 불건강생활(흡연, 음주, 비만, 신체활동 부족 각 0-2점, 합 4점 이상 불건강) 유병률은 여자보다 남자에서 높고, 연령이 높아지면서 감소한다. - 지역사회 환경개선(술집 개수, 패스트푸드점 밀도, 공원 면적, 병상밀도)과 사회경제적 수준 강화(교육수준, 가구소득, 고용)를 통해 생활습관적 건강행태의 지역 격차를 줄일 수 있다. - 이러한 향상 노력의 효과는 지역의 건강상태 수준이나 사회인구학적 특성에 따라 다를 수 있다.
Key Message
• District prevalence rates of unhealthy living were higher among men than women and decreased with advancing age. • Efforts to reduce regional disparities in lifestyle behaviors could benefit from enhancements to the neighborhood environment and the socioeconomic status of the area. • The effectiveness of such improvements may vary based on socio-demographic characteristics and health conditions.
Regional disparities in the availability of cancer clinical trials in Korea
Jieun Jang, Wonyoung Choi, Sung Hoon Sim, Sokbom Kang
Epidemiol Health. 2024;46:e2024006.   Published online December 11, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2024006
  • 3,078 View
  • 66 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Unequal access to cancer clinical trials is an important issue, given the potential benefits of participation for cancer patients. We evaluated regional disparities in access to cancer clinical trials in Korea.
METHODS
From the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety database, we extracted 2,465 records of all cancer clinical trials approved between January 2012 and April 2023. To measure disparities in cancer clinical trial access, we calculated the ratio of clinical trials open to non-capital areas relative to those open to capital areas. We then analyzed temporal trends in this ratio, which we termed the trial geographical equity index (TGEI).
RESULTS
Disparities in access to cancer clinical trials, as indicated by the TGEI, did not significantly improve during the study period (regression coefficient, 0.002; p=0.59). However, for phase II/III trials sponsored by global pharmaceutical companies, the TGEI improved significantly (regression coefficient, 0.021; p<0.01). In contrast, the TGEI deteriorated for trials initiated by investigators or those testing domestically developed therapeutics (regression coefficient, -0.015; p=0.05). Furthermore, the increasing trend of TGEI for phase II/III trials sponsored by global companies began to reverse after 2019, coinciding with the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
CONCLUSIONS
Over the past decade, access to cancer clinical trials has improved in Korea, particularly for phase II/III trials evaluating therapeutics from global companies. However, this increase in accessibility has not extended to trials initiated by investigators or those assessing domestically developed therapeutics. Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 on disparities in clinical trial access should be closely monitored.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 개시된 암 임상시험 수가 국내 수도권에 비해 비수도권에서 절대적으로 부족하고, 이러한 부족이 지난 10년간 개선되지 않았음을 보여줍니다. 다만, 글로벌 제약회사의 치료제를 검증하는 2상/3상 암 임상시험의 경우 임상시험 접근성에 대한 이러한 지역적 격차가 의미 있게 감소했으나 이러한 개선 또한 2019년 이후로는 정체되었을 수 있습니다. 상기 결과들은 임상시험 가용성의 형평성을 향상시키기 위해서는 국내 임상시험 개시 규모가 지역적 불균형을 이루고 있음에 대한 인식이 높아져야 하고, 비수도권 지역에서 임상시험 개시를 방해하는 장벽을 식별하는 데 추가적인 노력이 필요함을 강조합니다.
Key Message
The findings in this study indicate scarcity of cancer clinical trials in non-capital areas compared to that in capital areas of Korea, which has not improved over the past decade. However, this regional disparity in the access to clinical trials meaningfully decreased for phase II/III trials testing therapeutics from global pharmaceutical companies, though this progress may have stalled after 2019. This study highlights that increasing awareness of the regional imbalance in clinical trial access is vital and further efforts are needed to identify the barriers impeding the initiation of clinical trials in non-capital areas to improve the equity of availability.
Socioeconomic inequality in organized and opportunistic screening for colorectal cancer: results from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey, 2009-2021
Xuan Quy Luu, Kyeongmin Lee, Jae Kwan Jun, Mina Suh, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023086.   Published online September 17, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023086
  • 5,610 View
  • 140 Download
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to investigate socioeconomic status (SES)-based inequality in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in Korea. We assessed whether the rates of opportunistic and organized CRC screening differed according to income and education levels.
METHODS
We analyzed data from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey of 27,654 cancer-free individuals, aged 50-74 years, from 2009 to 2021. The weighted cancer screening rates with trends were estimated with the average annual percentage change using joinpoint regression. Inequality was calculated in both relative and absolute terms, based on a Poisson regression model.
RESULTS
The organized screening rate increased significantly from 22.1% in 2009 to 53.1% in 2020 and 50.6% in 2021, with an average annual change of 8.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.9 to 12.5). In contrast, no significant trend was observed for opportunistic screening. The SES inequality in opportunistic screening uptake was indicated by a slope index of inequality (SII) of 9.74% (95% CI, 6.36 to 13.12), relative index of inequality (RII) of 2.18 (95% CI, 1.75 to 2.70) in terms of education level; and an SII of 7.03% (95% CI, 4.09 to 9.98), RII of 1.81 (95% CI, 1.41 to 2.31) in terms of measured income. Although there was an increasing trend in income inequality, no significant SES inequalities were observed in the overall estimates for organized screening.
CONCLUSIONS
Organized CRC screening is effective in improving the participation rate, regardless of SES. However, significant inequalities were found in opportunistic screening, suggesting room for improvement in the overall equity of CRC screening.
Summary
Korean summary
이번 연구는 한국의 대장암 검진에서 사회경제적 수준에 따른 불평등이 있는지를 분석했다. 국가암검진사업 도입 이래로 2009-2021년 연구기간 동안 공공검진을 통한 대장암 수검률은 지속적으로 증가한 반면, 개인검진의 증가는 관찰되지 않았다. 특히 공공 검진의 경우 소득이나 교육수준에 따른 수검률에 차이는 없는 반면, 개인검진에서는 상당한불평등이 관찰되었다.
Key Message
"The study investigated socioeconomic status (SES)-based inequality in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in Korea. We found that the introduction of the National Cancer Screening Program for CRC effectively increased the participation rate, regardless of the SES of the individuals throughout the study period. However, significant inequalities were observed in opportunistic screening related to education and income."

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Disparities in Cancer Incidence across Income Levels in South Korea
    Su-Min Jeong, Kyu-Won Jung, Juwon Park, Nayeon Kim, Dong Wook Shin, Mina Suh
    Cancers.2023; 15(24): 5898.     CrossRef
Unequal burdens of COVID-19 infection: a nationwide cohort study of COVID-19-related health inequalities in Korea
Jeangeun Jeon, Jieun Park, Min-Hyeok Choi, Hongjo Choi, Myoung-Hee Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023068.   Published online July 31, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023068
  • 3,788 View
  • 123 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
While the Korean government’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is considered effective given the relatively low mortality rate, issues of inequality have been insufficiently addressed. This study explored COVID-19-related health inequalities in Korea.
METHODS
Age standardization for various health inequality indices was derived using data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, and the Microdata Integrated Service of Statistics Korea. The slope index of inequality (SII) and relative index of inequality (RII) were calculated for socioeconomic variables, while absolute difference (AD) and relative difference (RD) were used for gender and disability inequalities.
RESULTS
We observed a number of COVID-19-related health outcome inequalities. Gender inequality was particularly noticeable in infection rates, with the rate of women 1.16 times higher than that of men. In contrast, socioeconomic inequality was evident in vaccination rates, with a 4.5-fold (SII, -4.519; 95% confidence interval, -7.403 to -1.634) difference between the highest and lowest household income groups. Regarding clinical progression post-infection, consistent findings indicated higher risk for men (RD for hospitalization, 0.90; severe cases, 0.54; and fatality, 0.65), individuals with disabilities (RD for hospitalization, 2.27; severe cases, 2.29; and fatality, 2.37), and those from lower socioeconomic groups (SII for hospitalization, 1.778; severe cases, 0.089; and fatality, 0.451).
CONCLUSIONS
While the infection risk was nearly ubiquitous, not everyone faced the same level of risk post-infection. To prevent further health inequalities, it is crucial to develop a thoughtful policy acknowledging individual health conditions and resources.
Summary
Korean summary
2020년 10월-2022년 4월까지의 국내 코로나-19 확진자 데이터와 건강보험 빅데이터, 사망등록통계를 연계하여 건강결과의 불평등 지표를 산출한 결과, 감염율, 백신접종율, 입원율, 중증화율, 치명률에서 소득수준(건강보험료 소득분위 기준), 성별, 장애유무에 따른 건강결과의 불평등이 확인되었다. 감염율은 여성이 남성보다 높았고, 백신접종율은 장애인과 의료급여 수급권자의 비율이 낮게 나타났고, 코로나-19로 인한 입원율과 중증화율, 치명율에서는 남성, 의료급여 수급권자, 장애인의 취약성이 두드러졌다. 본 연구의 분석결과는 국내 방역정책이 기존의 사회불평등을 충분하게 고려하지 못했을 가능성이 크며, 미래 감염병 관리 시 이를 고려하여 불평등을 완화시킬 수 있는 방향의 정책적 전략이 필요하다는 점을 시사한다.
Key Message
This study sought to investigate COVID-19-related health inequalities in Korea by linking COVID-19 registry data to the KNHIS big data and the cause of death data for the period October 2020 - April 2022. COVID-19-related health outcome inequalities were observed in infection, vaccination, hospitalization, clinical progress, and fatality by household income, gender, and disability. The infection rate was higher in women, the vaccination proportion was lower in the disabled and medical-aid beneficiaries, and men, the disabled and medical-aid beneficiaries were vulnerable in clinical progression post-infection which implies that a policy necessarily should consider existing socioeconomic inequalities for future pandemics.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • The role of area deprivation index in health care disruptions among cancer survivors during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic
    R.W. Wagner, A. Natori, S. Prinsloo, A.K. Otto, E. Saez-Clarke, J.M. Ochoa, S.S. Tworoger, C.M. Ulrich, C.A. Hathaway, S. Ahmed, J.L. McQuade, A.R. Peoples, M.H. Antoni, F.J. Penedo, L. Cohen
    Public Health.2024; 232: 52.     CrossRef
Trends and disparities in avoidable, treatable, and preventable mortalities in South Korea, 2001-2020: comparison of capital and non-capital areas
Sang Jun Eun
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022067.   Published online August 16, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022067
  • 9,716 View
  • 294 Download
  • 8 Web of Science
  • 7 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to describe the regional avoidable mortality trends in Korea and examine the trends in avoidable mortality disparities between the Seoul Capital Area and non-Seoul-Capital areas, thereby exploring the underlying reasons for the trend changes.
METHODS
Age-standardized mortality rates from avoidable causes between 2001-2020 were calculated by region. Regional disparities in avoidable mortality were quantified on both absolute and relative scales. Trends and disparities in avoidable mortality were analyzed using joinpoint regression models.
RESULTS
Avoidable, treatable, and preventable mortalities in Korea decreased at different rates over time by region. The largest decreases were in the non-Seoul-Capital non-metropolitan area for avoidable and preventable mortality rates and the non-Seoul- Capital metropolitan area for treatable mortality rates, despite the largest decline being in the Seoul Capital Area prior to around 2009. Absolute and relative regional disparities in avoidable and preventable mortalities generally decreased. Relative disparities in treatable mortality between areas widened. Regional disparities in all types of mortalities tended to improve after around 2009, especially among males. In females, disparities in avoidable, treatable, and preventable mortalities between areas improved less or even worsened.
CONCLUSIONS
Trends and disparities in avoidable mortality across areas in Korea seem to have varied under the influence of diverse social changes. Enhancing health services to underserved areas and strengthening gender-oriented policies are needed to reduce regional disparities in avoidable mortality.
Summary
Korean summary
2001년부터 2020년까지 회피가능, 예방가능 사망률의 수도권과 비수도권 대도시, 비수도권 비대도시 지역 간 절대적, 상대적 격차는 대체로 감소했지만, 치료가능 사망률의 상대적 격차는 커졌다. 회피가능, 치료가능, 예방가능 사망률의 지역 간 격차는 2009년경 이후에 특히 남성에서 개선됐지만, 여성의 경우 덜 개선되거나 오히려 악화되기도 했다.
Key Message
Regional disparities in avoidable, treatable, and preventable mortalities tended to improve after around 2009, especially among males, but, in females, disparities in all types of mortalities between areas improved less or even worsened.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Evaluating the effects of the 2017 National Health Insurance coverage expansion on amenable mortality and its disparities between areas in South Korea using Bayesian structural time-series models
    Sang Jun Eun
    Social Science & Medicine.2024; 344: 116574.     CrossRef
  • Residential mobility according to health status in South Korea's largest metropolitan city during the COVID-19 pandemic using generalized estimating equations for longitudinal data
    Ikhan Kim, Duwon Kim
    Health & Place.2024; 88: 103265.     CrossRef
  • Determinants of internal migration to smaller cities: local public goods, job opportunities, and lifecycle stages
    Hemin Choi
    Local Government Studies.2024; 50(3): 617.     CrossRef
  • Avoidable Mortality in Korea 1997–2001: Temporal Trend and its Contribution to All-cause Mortality
    Yoolwon Jeong, Sunghyo Seo
    International Journal of Public Health.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Regional Health Disparities in Hypertension-Related Hospitalization of Hypertensive Patients: A Nationwide Population-Based Nested Case-Control Study
    Woo-Ri Lee, Jun Hyuk Koo, Ji Yun Jeong, Min Su Kim, Ki-Bong Yoo
    International Journal of Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Regional Disparities in the Infant Mortality Rate in Korea Between 2001 and 2021
    Hyeongtaek Woo, Ji Sook Kim
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Changes in Barriers That Cause Unmet Healthcare Needs in the Life Cycle of Adulthood and Their Policy Implications: A Need-Selection Model Analysis of the Korea Health Panel Survey Data
    Woojin Chung
    Healthcare.2022; 10(11): 2243.     CrossRef

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