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Original Articles
The effect of public hospital closure on the death of long-term inpatients in Korea
Taeuk Kang, Minsung Sohn, Changwoo Shon
Epidemiol Health. 2024;46:e2024022.   Published online January 17, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2024022
  • 1,829 View
  • 78 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to examine the changes in health outcomes and the patterns of medical institution utilization among patients with long-term stays in public hospitals following the closure of a public medical center. It also sought to present a proposal regarding the role of public hospitals in countries with healthcare systems predominantly driven by private entities, such as Korea.
METHODS
To assess the impact of a public healthcare institution closure on health outcomes in a specific region, we utilized nationally representative health insurance claims data. A retrospective cohort study was conducted for this analysis.
RESULTS
An analysis of the medical utilization patterns of patients after the closure of Jinju Medical Center showed that 67.4% of the total medical usage was redirected to long-term care hospitals. This figure is notably high in comparison to the 20% utilization rate of nursing hospitals observed among patients from other medical facilities. These results indicate that former patients of Jinju Medical Center may have experienced limitations in accessing necessary medical services beyond nursing care. After accounting for relevant mortality factors, the analysis showed that the mortality rate in closed public hospitals was 2.47 (95% confidence interval, 0.85 to 0.96) times higher than in private hospitals.
CONCLUSIONS
The closure of public medical institutions has resulted in unmet healthcare needs, and an observed association was observed with increased mortality rates. It is essential to define the role and objectives of public medical institutions, taking into account the distribution of healthcare resources and the conditions of the population.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 사회보험제도를 기반으로 하고 있는 한국의 상황에서 지방의 공공의료기관 폐쇄가 환자들의 건강에 어떠한 영향을 미쳤는지를 확인하고자 국민건강보험 청구자료를 기반으로 후향적코호트 자료를 구축하여 분석을 시행하였다. 연구결과 장기 입원 환자의 67.4%가 장기요양병원을 의료를 이용하였고, 이는 비교집단의 장기요양 이용비율인 20% 수준보다 3배 가량 높은 수치로, 의료이용에 일부 제약이 발생하였을 가능성을 시사하는 것이다. 폐업 후 1년 이내 사망률을 비교한 결과, 인근지역 내 민간병원 환자와 비교하여 공공의료기관 입원환자의 사망확률은 2.67배였고, 의료급여 수급권자들의 사망확률은 고소득 5분위에 비해 2.24배 높은 것으로 나타났다.
Key Message
Even in Korea's healthcare system with high medical accessibility, adverse health impacts have been observed due to the closure of public healthcare institutions. Systematic policy development is necessary to evaluate essential medical service provision and allocate medical resources comprehensively.
Effective vaccination strategies to control COVID-19 in Korea: a modeling study
Youngsuk Ko, Kyong Ran Peck, Yae-Jean Kim, Dong-Hyun Kim, Eunok Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023084.   Published online September 7, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023084
  • 5,454 View
  • 122 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
In Korea, as immunity levels of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the population acquired through previous infections and vaccinations have decreased, booster vaccinations have emerged as a necessary measure to control new outbreaks. The objective of this study was to identify the most suitable vaccination strategy for controlling the surge in COVID-19 cases.
METHODS
A mathematical model was developed to concurrently evaluate the immunity levels induced by vaccines and infections. This model was then employed to investigate the potential for future resurgence and the possibility of control through the use of vaccines and antivirals.
RESULTS
As of May 11, 2023, if the current epidemic trend persists without further vaccination efforts, a peak in resurgence is anticipated to occur around mid-October of the same year. Under the most favorable circumstances, the peak number of severely hospitalized patients could be reduced by 43% (n=480) compared to the scenario without vaccine intervention (n=849). Depending on outbreak trends and vaccination strategies, the best timing for vaccination in terms of minimizing this peak varies from May 2023 to August 2023.
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings suggest that if the epidemic persist, the best timing for administering vaccinations would need to be earlier than currently outlined in the Korean plan. It is imperative to continue monitoring outbreak trends, as this is key to determining the best vaccination timing in order to manage potential future surges.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 자연감염 혹은 백신으로 획득된 면역의 저하를 고려한 수리모델을 사용하여 COVID-19에 대한 백신 접종 전략 분석 결과를 보인다. 시뮬레이션 결과는 추가 백신 접종이 없을 경우 재유행의 정점이 800명을 넘을 것임을 나타내며, 적절한 시기에 백신을 접종하면 최대 재원 위중증환자수를 약 40%까지 줄일 수 있음을 보인다. 본 연구는 확진자 추세의 지속적인 모니터링이 백신 접종의 적정 시기를 결정하고 미래 COVID-19의 재유행을 효과적으로 관리하는 데 필요하다는 점을 강조한다.
Key Message
Our study analyzes strategies for COVID-19 through vaccination, using a mathematical model considering waning immunity from past infections and vaccinations. Results indicate that a resurgence peak would reach more than 800 without further vaccination, and suggest vaccination in proper timing can reduce the peak size of administered severe patients by up to approximately 40%. The study emphasizes the importance of ongoing monitoring of outbreak trends to manage vaccination timing and future COVID-19 surges effectively.
Body mass index and prevalence of metabolic syndrome among Korean adults before and after the COVID-19 outbreak: a retrospective longitudinal study
Joo-Eun Jeong, Hoon-Ki Park, Hwan-Sik Hwang, Kye-Yeung Park, Myoung-Hye Lee, Seon-Hi Shin, Nayeon Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023081.   Published online August 29, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023081
  • 6,218 View
  • 125 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Studies evaluating weight changes during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have yielded inconsistent results, and most of those studies were based on self-reported anthropometric measures. We investigated changes in body mass index (BMI), professionally measured waist circumference (WC), and metabolic syndrome components from before to during the pandemic in a sample of the adult population in Korea.
METHODS
This retrospective study included 1,118 male and female (age≥18 years) who underwent health checkups at a university medical center between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2022. Changes in BMI, lifestyles, and metabolic syndrome components during the pandemic were analyzed using the paired t-test, McNemar test, generalized estimating equations, and repeated-measures analysis of variance.
RESULTS
Changes in body weight, BMI, and body fat percentage during the pandemic were not clinically significant. However, statistically significant results were found for decreased physical activity (p<0.001) and WC (p<0.001), and exacerbation of all metabolic syndrome components (except serum triglyceride levels). Moreover, the metabolic syndrome prevalence increased significantly from 20.2% to 31.2% during the pandemic (p<0.001). The prevalence of abdominal obesity and high fasting blood glucose levels also significantly increased from 2019 to 2021.
CONCLUSIONS
Metabolic syndrome, its components, and fat distribution worsened significantly after the implementation of social distancing and lockdowns, despite no clinically significant changes in body weight and BMI. Further studies on the post- pandemic period should investigate the long-term impact of social lockdowns on BMI and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구에서는 한국인 성인들의 코로나 팬대믹으로 인한 사회적 거리 두기, 봉쇄 정책 전 후의 체질량지수, 생활습관, 그리고 대사증후군과 그 구성 요소들의 변화를 건강검진을 통해 측정한 객관적인 지표의 변화를 통해 알아보고자 하였다. 연구 결과, 사회적 거리 두기 및 봉쇄 전후의 체질량지수와 체중은 유의미한 변화가 없었으나, 신체 활동량은 유의미하게 감소하였고, 체지방률, 허리둘레가 늘어났다. 그리고 중성지방을 제외하고 다른 대사증후군의 구성 요소인 혈압, 고밀도지단백 콜레스테롤, 공복혈당 지표는 악화되었다. 하위 그룹 분석에서 매년 검진을 시행 받은 대상자들 및 고혈압, 당뇨병, 이상지질혈증 약을 복용하지 않는 대상자들의 코로나-19 전후 연도별 대사 지표의 변화를 분석한 결과, 복부비만 유병률과 공복 혈당의 증가 양상이 뚜렷하였다.
Key Message
Although there was no significant change in BMI and weight, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, and fasting blood glucose level prominently worsened after the implementation of social distancing and lockdowns. Such findings may indicate deterioration of insulin resistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study provides valuable information for healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the general public towards mitigating the negative consequences of the pandemic on metabolic health, regardless of weight gain.
Data Profile
Data resource profile: the Korean Community Health Status Indicators (K-CHSI) database
Hye-Eun Lee, Yeon-gyeong Kim, Jin-Young Jeong, Dong-Hyun Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023016.   Published online February 2, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023016
  • 4,059 View
  • 95 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
Korean Community Health Status Indicators (K-CHSI) is a model-based database containing annual data on health outcomes and determinants at the municipal level (<i>si/gun/gu</i>-level regions, including mid-sized cities, counties, and districts). K-CHSI’s health outcomes include overall mortality, disease incidence, prevalence rates, and self-reported health. Health determinants were measured in 5 domains: socio-demographic factors, health behaviors, social environment, physical environment, and the healthcare system. The data sources are 71 public databases, including Causes of Death Statistics, Cancer Registration Statistics, Community Health Survey, Population Census, and Census on Establishments and Statistics of Urban Plans. This dataset covers Korea’s 17 metropolitan cities and provinces, with data from approximately 250 municipal regions (<i>si/gun/gu</i>). The current version of the database (DB version 1.3) was built using 12 years of data from 2008 to 2019. All data included in K-CHSI may be downloaded via the Korea Community Health Survey site, with no login requirement (https://chs.kdca.go.kr/chs/recsRoom/dataBaseMain.do). K-CHSI covers extensive health outcomes and health determinants at the municipal level over a period of more than 10 years, which enables ecological and time-series analyses of the relationships among various health outcomes and related factors.
Summary
Korean summary
지역사회 건강관련요인 데이터베이스는 17개 광역시도와 약 250개 시군구의 건강 결과 및 결정 요인에 대한 연간 데이터를 포함하는 모델 기반 데이터베이스이다. 본 데이터베이스의 건강 결과에는 사망률, 질병 발생률, 유병률, 자가 보고 건강상태 등이 포함되며 건강 결정 요인은 인구사회학적 환경, 건강 행태, 사회적 환경, 물리적 환경, 보건의료 체계의 5개 영역으로 구성되었다. 데이터는 질병관리청 지역사회건강조사 사이트에서 로그인 없이 다운로드할 수 있다(https://chs.kdca.go.kr/chs/recsRoom/dataBaseMain.do).
Key Message
Korean Community Health Status Indicators (K-CHSI) is a model-based database containing annual data on health outcomes and determinants from 17 metropolitan cities and provinces, with data from approximately 250 municipal regions (si/gun/gu). K-CHSI’s health outcomes include overall mortality, disease incidence, prevalence rates, and self-reported health. Health determinants were measured in 5 domains: socio-demographic factors, health behaviors, social environment, physical environment, and the healthcare system. The data included in K-CHSI may be downloaded via the Korea Community Health Survey site, with no login requirement (https://chs.kdca.go.kr/chs/recsRoom/dataBaseMain.do).
COVID-19: Original Article
Physical and mental health characteristics related to trust in and intention to receive COVID-19 vaccination: results from a Korean community-based longitudinal study
Ye Jin Jeon, Youngrong Lee, Ji Su Yang, Young Su Park, Sun Jae Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022064.   Published online August 3, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022064
  • 5,293 View
  • 129 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The aim of this study was to explore factors affecting attitudes toward coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination, including socio-demographic characteristics and mental health status during the pandemic.
METHODS
This study analyzed responses from 1,768 participants who were originally included in a community cohort study and responded to 3 online surveys related to COVID-19 (March 2020 to March 2021). The k-means method was used to cluster trust in and intention to receive COVID-19 vaccination. Baseline (2013-2018) socio-demographic characteristics, physical health status, and depressive symptoms were analyzed as exposure variables, and current mental health status was included in the analyses.
RESULTS
Almost half of all participants were classified into the moderate trust and high intention cluster (n=838, 47.4%); those with high trust and high intention accounted only for 16.9%. They tended to be older, had high-income levels, and engaged in regular physical activity at baseline (p<0.05), and their sleep quality and psychological resilience were relatively high compared to other groups.
CONCLUSIONS
Our results suggest that more efforts are required to enhance the perceived need for and trust in COVID-19 vaccination.
Summary
Korean summary
•본 연구는 코로나19 관련 온라인, 모바일 설문조사에 응답한 1,768명을 대상으로 코로나19 유행 동안의 정신건강 상태와 백신 접종에 대한 태도 (백신에 대한 믿음, 백신에 대한 접종 의사) 사이의 관련성을 파악하고자 하였다. •연구결과 우울, 불안, 외로움, 회복탄력성 등과 같은 정신건강 상태가 나쁜 사람은 백신에 대한 접종 의사가 높을 오즈가 그렇지 않은 사람에 비해 높았으며, 이는 통계적으로 유의하였다.
Key Message
In this community-based study including 1,768 participants who responded online survey related to COVID-19, we investigate the relationship between mental health during the pandemic and attitude toward COVID-19 vaccine (trust and intention). Each of the mental symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and loneliness, was significantly associated with higher intention to COVID-19 vaccine. Our results suggest that more efforts are required to enhance the perceived need for and trust in COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19: Original Article
Predictors of COVID-19 booster vaccine hesitancy among fully vaccinated adults in Korea: a nationwide cross-sectional survey
Yunha Noh, Ju Hwan Kim, Dongwon Yoon, Young June Choe, Seung-Ah Choe, Jaehun Jung, Sang-Won Lee, Ju-Young Shin
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022061.   Published online July 22, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022061
  • 8,858 View
  • 366 Download
  • 12 Web of Science
  • 8 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study explored predictors of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) booster hesitancy among fully vaccinated young adults and parental COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy for their children.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study administered an online survey from December 2 to December 20, 2021. We enrolled participants aged 18-49 years, for whom ≥2 weeks had passed after their initial COVID-19 vaccination. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using multivariate logistic regression to evaluate factors associated with booster/vaccine hesitancy.
RESULTS
Among the 2,993 participants, 48.8% showed hesitancy (wait and see: 40.2%; definitely not: 8.7%). Booster hesitancy was more common among women (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.50), younger people (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.17 to 1.77), those with a lower education level (OR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.10 to 3.82), those who received the mRNA-1273 vaccine type (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.65 to 2.45), and those who experienced serious adverse events following previous COVID-19 vaccination (OR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.47 to 2.80). The main reasons for booster hesitancy were concerns about safety (54.1%) and doubts about efficacy (29.8%). Among the 1,020 respondents with children aged <18 years, 65.8% were hesitant to vaccinate their children against COVID-19; hesitancy was associated with younger parental age, education level, the type of vaccine the parent received, and a history of COVID-19 infection.
CONCLUSIONS
Concerns about the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines were the major barrier to booster acceptance. The initial COVID-19 vaccine type (mRNA-1273), young age, gender (women), a low education level, and adverse events after the first COVID-19 vaccine were key predictors of booster hesitancy.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 국내 19-49세 성인을 대상으로, 코로나19 3차접종 의향과 그들의 18세 미만 자녀에 대한 코로나19 기초접종 의향을 조사하고, 코로나19 백신접종 기피와 관련된 요인을 파악하고자 하였다. 2021년 12월 2일부터 20일까지 온라인 설문조사를 통하여 자료를 수집하였으며, 연구대상자는 코로나19 기초접종을 완료한 후 2주 경과한 19-49세 성인으로, 전국 대표성을 확보하기 위해 성별, 연령, 지역별로 층화하여 모집하였다. 코로나19 3차접종 기피율은 약 48.8%로 나타났으며, 접종 기피 관련 영향요인으로는 젊은 연령층, 여성, 낮은 교육수준, 기초접종 백신 종류, 기초접종 후 중증 이상반응 경험이 포함되었으며, 18세 미만 자녀에 대한 코로나19 기초접종 기피율은 65.8%로, 관련 영향요인으로는 젊은 부모 연령, 교육수준, 부모의 기초접종 백신 종류, 코로나19 감염 과거력이 포함되었다.
Key Message
Concerns about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines were the major barrier to booster acceptance; the initial COVID-19 vaccine type (mRNA-1273), younger age, gender (women), a low education level, and adverse events after the first COVID-19 vaccine were key predictors of booster hesitancy.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Why Some People Are Hesitant to Receive COVID-19 Boosters: A Systematic Review
    Yam B. Limbu, Bruce A. Huhmann
    Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease.2023; 8(3): 159.     CrossRef
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Hesitancy in Malaysia: A Web-Based Cross-Sectional Study
    Kai Wei Lee, Sook Fan Yap, Hooi Tin Ong, Myo Oo, Kye Mon Min Swe
    Vaccines.2023; 11(3): 638.     CrossRef
  • Factors associated with parental intention to vaccinate their preschool children against COVID-19: a cross-sectional survey in urban area of Jakarta, Indonesia
    Theresia Santi, Badriul Hegar, Zakiudin Munasir, Ari Prayitno, Retno Asti Werdhani, Ivo Novita Sah Bandar, Juandy Jo, Ruswati Uswa, Ratna Widia, Yvan Vandenplas
    Clinical and Experimental Vaccine Research.2023; 12(3): 240.     CrossRef
  • Factors associated with COVID-19 booster vaccine hesitancy: a nationwide, cross-sectional survey in Japan
    A. Takamatsu, H. Honda, T. Miwa, T. Tabuchi, K. Taniguchi, K. Shibuya, Y. Tokuda
    Public Health.2023; 223: 72.     CrossRef
  • Predictors of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Parents of Children Aged 5–11 Years in Korea
    Ju Hwan Kim, Dongwon Yoon, Yunha Noh, Jaehun Jung, Young June Choe, Ju-Young Shin
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Effective Vaccination and Education Strategies for Emerging Infectious Diseases Such as COVID-19
    Seong-Heon Wie, Jaehun Jung, Woo Joo Kim
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • COVID-19 vaccination acceptance, safety and side-effects in European patients with severe asthma
    Apostolos Bossios, Alison M. Bacon, Katrien Eger, Dóra Paróczai, Florence Schleich, Shane Hanon, Svetlana Sergejeva, Eleftherios Zervas, Konstantinos Katsoulis, Christina Aggelopoulou, Konstantinos Kostikas, Eleni Gaki, Nikoletta Rovina, Zsuzsanna Csoma,
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  • Parental concerns about COVID-19 vaccine safety and hesitancy in Korea: implications for vaccine communication
    Hye-Kyung Cho, Hyunju Lee, Young June Choe, Shinkyeong Kim, Sujin Seo, Jiwon Moon, Eun Hwa Choi, Geun-Yong Kwon, Jee Yeon Shin, Sang-Yoon Choi, Mi Jin Jeong, Myoungsoon You
    Epidemiology and Health.2022; 45: e2023004.     CrossRef
Original Articles
Secular trends and related factors in leisure-time sedentary behavior among Koreans: an analysis of data from the 2011-2017 Korea Community Health Survey
Hyun-Ju Seo, Min-Jung Choi, Soon-Ki Ahn
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022023.   Published online February 14, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022023
  • 10,278 View
  • 416 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 2 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Sedentary behavior has gradually increased and has become a public health problem. Therefore, this study investigated trends in weekday leisure-time sedentary behaviors, as well as characteristic socio-demographic and lifestyle correlates in Korean adults.
METHODS
We analyzed data from 914,946 adults aged ≥19 years who participated in the Korea Community Health Survey (2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017). Leisure-time sedentary behavior was categorized as a binary variable (<4 and ≥4 hr/day). Multivariable regression analysis was used to model the prevalence of sedentary behavior and estimate odds ratios.
RESULTS
The prevalence of leisure-time sedentary behavior decreased from 15.2% to 14.4% in men and from 16.6% to 16.0% in women between 2011 and 2017, respectively. However, a significant increase was observed in subjects with an education lower than high school in both genders (β coefficient=0.12 for men and 0.08 for women, p for trend <0.001). Women in the lowest household income level (β coefficient=0.08, p for trend=0.001) and with poor subjective health status (β coefficient=0.05, p for trend=0.013) showed an increasing trend. Other factors associated with sedentary behavior were age, education level, body mass index, household income, walking activity, perceived stress level, and subjective health status in both genders.
CONCLUSIONS
Identifying the secular trends and correlates of sedentary behavior by gender and associated factors will provide empirical evidence for developing public health campaigns and promotion programs to reduce sedentary behavior in Koreans.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 지역사회건강조사에서 2011년부터 2017년까지 격년으로 수집된 성인의 좌식행동에 대한 시간적 추세와 관련 요인에 대해 분석한 시계열 단면연구이다. 분석결과, 주중 여가시간에 4시간 이상 앉아 있는 경우는 남성의 경우 15.2%에서 14.4%로, 여성의 경우 16.6%에서 16.0%로 감소되었다. 그러나, 남녀 모두에서 노인인 경우, 중졸 이하의 학력을 가진 경우, 소득수준이 월 100만원 미만인 경우, 주관적 건강상태가 부정적인 경우 좌식행동이 증가하였다. 따라서, 본 연구에서 나타난 좌식행동 관련 요인을 가진 대상자를 목표집단으로 한 건강증진 및 공중보건 캠페인이 개발 및 실행될 필요가 있다.
Key Message
This study is a serial cross-sectional study analyzing the temporal trend and related factors of sedentary behavior of adults using KCHS collected biennially from 2011 to 2017. The prevalence of leisure-time sedentary behavior decreased from 15.2% to 14.4% in men and from 16.6% to 16.0% in women, respectively. However, elderly, subjects with an education lower than high school, with the lowest household income level, and with poor subjective health status showed an increasing sedentary behavior trend. These findings suggest that health promotion and public health campaigns are need to reduce the prevalence of sedentary behavior in population with related factors.

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  • Temporal trends and the association between self-rated oral health and falls in community-dwelling older adults in South Korea: a secondary analysis of survey data
    Hyun-Ju Seo, Soon-Ki Ahn, Min-Jung Choi
    BMJ Open.2024; 14(4): e081549.     CrossRef
  • Association between long working hours and physical inactivity in middle-aged and older adults: a Korean longitudinal study (2006–2020)
    Seong-Uk Baek, Won-Tae Lee, Min-Seok Kim, Myeong-Hun Lim, Jin-Ha Yoon, Jong-Uk Won
    Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.2023; 77(6): 355.     CrossRef
Local-level spatiotemporal dynamics of COVID-19 transmission in the Greater Seoul Area, Korea: a view from a Bayesian perspective
Youngbin Lym, Hyobin Lym, Ki-Jung Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022016.   Published online January 13, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022016
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study was to enhance the understanding of the local-level spatiotemporal dynamics of COVID-19 transmission in the Greater Seoul Area (GSA), Korea, after its initial outbreak in January 2020.
METHODS
Using the weekly aggregates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases of 77 municipalities in the GSA, we examined the relative risks of COVID-19 infection across local districts over 50 consecutive weeks in 2020. To this end, we employed a spatiotemporal generalized linear mixed model under the hierarchical Bayesian framework. This allowed us to empirically examine the random effects of spatial alignments, temporal autocorrelation, and spatiotemporal interaction, along with fixed effects. Specifically, we utilized the conditional autoregressive and the weakly informative penalized complexity priors for hyperparameters of the random effects.
RESULTS
Spatiotemporal interaction dominated the overall variability of random influences, followed by spatial correlation, whereas the temporal correlation appeared to be small. Considering these findings, we present dynamic changes in the spread of COVID-19 across local municipalities in the GSA as well as regions at elevated risk for further policy intervention.
CONCLUSIONS
The outcomes of this study can contribute to advancing our understanding of the local-level COVID-19 spread dynamics within densely populated regions in Korea throughout 2020 from a different perspective, and will contribute to the development of regional safety planning against infectious diseases.
Summary
Korean summary
본 논문은 수도권 지역에서 코로나바이러스가 처음 발생한 2020년 1월 이후 12월 말까지 총 50주 동안 수도권 내 지자체 수준에서의 코로나 19 전염병에 대한 시공간적 확산 역동성을 파악하기 위한 연구이다. 데이터 기반의 실증분석을 위한 계층적 베이지언 기법 기반의 시공간 일반화 선형 혼합모형의 결과에 따르면, 확률효과 중 시공간적 상호작용의 영향성이 가장 크게 나타났고, 다음으로는 공간자기상관에 의한 영향 순으로 나타난 반면, 시간에 의한 확률효과는 상대적으로 적게 도출되었다. 연구의 결과를 종합하여, 본 연구에서는 지도 기반의 코로나 19 위험 및 그 위험의 시공간적 변화를 제시하고, 향후 전염병에 대한 정책대응에 활용될 수 있도록 하였다.
Key Message
This study investigates the local-level spatiotemporal dynamics of COVID-19 transmission in the Greater Seoul Area, Korea, after its initial outbreak in January 2020. We adopt a flexible hierarchical Bayesian method so as to account for latent influences of space and time along with the fixed effects by covariates. The results suggest that spatiotemporal interaction dominates the overall variability of random influences, followed by spatial correlation, while the temporal effect appears to be small. Based on these findings, we present maps that depict dynamic changes of COVID-19 infection as well as regions of elevated risks for further policy consideration.

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  • A Review of Bayesian Spatiotemporal Models in Spatial Epidemiology
    Yufeng Wang, Xue Chen, Feng Xue
    ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information.2024; 13(3): 97.     CrossRef
Socioeconomic inequality in compliance with precautions and health behavior changes during the COVID-19 outbreak: an analysis of the Korean Community Health Survey 2020
Ga Bin Lee, Sun Jae Jung, Yang Yiyi, Jea Won Yang, Hoang Manh Thang, Hyeon Chang Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022013.   Published online January 9, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022013
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study examined socioeconomic inequalities in compliance with precautions and health behavior changes during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak using a representative Korean sample.
METHODS
This exploratory study utilized around 210,000 participants aged ≥25 years in the Korean Community Health Survey 2020. Socioeconomic status was measured with educational attainment and household income. Outcomes included non-compliance with 8 precaution measures and deterioration in 6 health behaviors. The relative inequality index (RII) was calculated to quantify the degree of inequality by education and income level. RII values >1.0 indicate that deprived people have a higher frequency of health problems, and RII values <1.0 conversely indicate a higher frequency of health problems in more advantaged groups.
RESULTS
People with lower education or income levels tended to have higher rates of non-compliance with COVID-19 safety precautions (RII range, 1.20 to 3.05). Lower education and income levels were associated with an increased smoking amount (RII=2.10 and 1.67, respectively) and sleep duration changes (RII=1.21 and 1.36, respectively). On the contrary, higher education and income levels were associated with decreased physical activity (RII=0.59 and 0.77, respectively) and increased delivery food consumption (RII=0.27 and 0.37, respectively). However, increased alcohol drinking was associated with lower education and income levels in younger men (RII=1.73 and 1.31, respectively), but with higher levels in younger women (RII=0.73 and 0.68, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings suggest the need to develop customized strategies, considering the characteristics of the target population, to decrease the burden and impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Summary
Korean summary
코로나19 유행기간 동안 예방지침 준수율과 건강관련 생활습관이 나빠지는 정도는 사회경제적 수준에 따라 차이가 있다. 전반적으로 코로나19 예방지침 준수율은 높았지만, 사회경제수준이 낮을수록 예방지침 준수율도 낮아지는 경향을 보였다. 하지만, 사회경제수준과 생활습관 악화의 관계는 성, 연령, 생활습관의 종류에 따라 달랐다.
Key Message
This study of a representative Korean sample found that socioeconomic inequalities existed in compliance with COVID-19 precautions and in health behavior deterioration. There is a need to develop target group-specific strategies to reduce health inequalities and the long-term health burden of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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  • Gap in protective behaviors between Han and minority ethnicities during COVID-19 pandemic in rural western China: A decomposition analysis
    Ruixue Ye, Yuju Wu, Chang Sun, Qingzhi Wang, Yue Ma, Yunwei Chen, Lucy Pappas, Cindy Feng, Scott Rozelle, Huan Zhou
    Preventive Medicine Reports.2024; 39: 102617.     CrossRef
  • Aftermath on COVID-19 technological and socioeconomic changes: A meta-analytic review
    Xuan Yao, Zeshui Xu, Marinko Škare, Xindi Wang
    Technological Forecasting and Social Change.2024; 202: 123322.     CrossRef
  • Association of Depression With Precautionary Behavior Compliance, COVID-19 Fear, and Health Behaviors in South Korea: National Cross-sectional Study
    Hyerine Shin, Ji-Su Kim, HyunHae Lee
    JMIR Public Health and Surveillance.2023; 9: e42677.     CrossRef
  • Trends in socioeconomic inequalities in obesity among Korean adolescents: the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey (KYRBS) 2006 to 2020
    Eunji Kim, Ga Bin Lee, Dong Keon Yon, Hyeon Chang Kim
    Epidemiology and Health.2023; 45: e2023033.     CrossRef
  • Communication inequalities in the COVID-19 pandemic: socioeconomic differences and preventive behaviors in the United States and South Korea
    Woohyun Yoo, Yangsun Hong, Sang-Hwa Oh
    BMC Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Compliance Trajectory and Patterns of COVID-19 Preventive Measures, Japan, 2020–2022
    Taro Kusama, Kenji Takeuchi, Yudai Tamada, Sakura Kiuchi, Ken Osaka, Takahiro Tabuchi
    Emerging Infectious Diseases.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • COVID-19 in Baghdad, Iraq: adaptive and emotional findings in a household cluster survey
    Riyadh Lafta, Sahar Al-Shatari, Meighan Mary, Gilbert Burnham
    Frontiers in Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Predicting Support for COVID-19 Policies with Partisan Media Use and Negative Emotion: Evidence from the U.S. and South Korea
    Dam Hee Kim, Tae Hyun Lim, Yu Jeong Hwang, Seongcheol Kim
    Journal of Health Communication.2023; 28(sup2): 32.     CrossRef
  • Factors associating to the increased smoking time among South Korean male workers during COVID-19 pandemic
    Mi Young Kwon, Myong Sun Cho
    Korean Journal of Health Education and Promotion.2022; 39(2): 53.     CrossRef
  • Trust and compliance: Milieu-specific differences in social cohesion during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany
    Tim Schröder, Anne Speer, Patrick Sachweh, Olaf Groh-Samberg
    Frontiers in Sociology.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Effect of socioeconomic disparities on the risk of COVID-19 in 8 metropolitan cities in the Korea: a community-based study
    Myung-Jae Hwang, Shin Young Park, Tae-Ho Yoon, Jinhwa Jang, Seon-Young Lee, Myeongsu Yoo, Yoo-Yeon Kim, Hae-Kwan Cheong, Donghyok Kwon, Jong-Hun Kim
    Epidemiology and Health.2022; 44: e2022107.     CrossRef
Words are not just words: how the use of media language in the COVID-19 era affects public health
Georgios P. Georgiou
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021072.   Published online September 23, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021072
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Language can shape the way we perceive the world. In this paper, we investigated how exposure to media texts containing alarming and militaristic language affects peoples’ notions regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the consequences of this effect for public health.
METHODS
After reading a passage including either alarming and militaristic or neutral terminology on COVID-19, participants completed a questionnaire in which they answered 4 questions on a 7-point Likert scale. The questions assessed participants’ notions on the end of the pandemic, vaccine effectiveness, and the consequences of COVID-19 for economies and mental health. Ordinal regression models in R were used for the analysis.
RESULTS
Individuals who were exposed to alarming and militaristic language expressed more pessimistic notions regarding COVID-19 than those who were exposed to more neutral language. However, both groups of individuals had similar notions regarding vaccine effectiveness.
CONCLUSIONS
The media should redefine the language they use for the description of the pandemic, considering that the extensive use of alarming and militaristic terminology may have a negative impact on public health.
Summary
Key Message
This study shows that exposure to alarming and militaristic terminology creates pessimistic notions about COVID-19. The media should avoid the extensive use of such terminology for the description of the pandemic, as this can negatively affect public health.

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  • Examining the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and self-harm death counts in four Canadian provinces
    Shelly Isnar, Mark Oremus
    Psychiatry Research.2022; 310: 114433.     CrossRef
  • How Has COVID-19 Impacted Our Language Use?
    Francesca Pisano, Alessio Manfredini, Daniela Brachi, Luana Landi, Lucia Sorrentino, Marianna Bottone, Chiara Incoccia, Paola Marangolo
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.2022; 19(21): 13836.     CrossRef
Gender role stereotypes, patriarchal attitudes, and cognitive function in the elderly rural Korean population: a cross-sectional study
Hye Rin Choi, Byeonggwan Ha, Ye Jin Jeon, Yoosik Youm, Hyeon Chang Kim, Sun Jae Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021023.   Published online April 7, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021023
  • 12,073 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We analyzed whether gender role stereotypes (GRS) and patriarchal attitudes are associated with cognitive function in an elderly community.
METHODS
We analyzed data from 580 people enrolled in the Korean Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. The degrees to which respondents held stereotypical beliefs about gender roles and had patriarchal mindsets were measured using a questionnaire. Based on participants’ responses, we divided respondents into 2 groups—those with conservative mindsets and those with open mindsets—according to the median score for each of the 2 variables. Cognitive function was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination, Korean version (MMSE-K). Cognitive impairment was defined as an MMSE-K score ≤21 points. Multivariable logistic regression was performed, adjusting for gender, age, socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, and social network size. Age and lifestyle factors were stratified.
RESULTS
Compared to those with open mindsets, those with conservative mindsets regarding gender roles and patriarchal norms had adjusted odds ratios of 1.88 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11 to 3.19) and 1.67 (95% CI, 1.00 to 2.79) for cognitive impairment, respectively. In the stratified analysis, subgroups with younger age and a good lifestyle maintained a protective association with cognitive impairment.
CONCLUSIONS
GRS and a patriarchal mindset were marginally significantly associated with cognitive impairment among women later in life.
Summary
Korean summary
농촌지역에 거주하는 노년기 인구 580명 대상으로 성 역할 고정관념 또는 가부장적 사고가 인지기능과 연관성이 있는지 로지스틱 회귀분석을 통해 알아보았다. 분석결과, 보수적인 성 역할 고정관념과 가부장적 사고를 가진 여성에서 개방적인 사고를 가진 여성보다 인지기능이 통계적으로 유의하게 저하된 결과를 얻었다.
Key Message
We investigated whether gender role stereotypes and patriarchal attitudes are associated with cognitive function in the elderly rural Korean population. Compared to women with open attitudes, those with conservative attitudes regarding gender roles and patriarchal norms had marginally significant higher odds ratios for cognitive impairment. Thus, gender role stereotypes and a patriarchal mindset were marginally significantly associated with cognitive impairment among women later in life.

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  • Examining the gender equity outlook and patriarchal beliefs of police constables in Allahabad, India: A machine learning approach
    Saumya Tripathi
    Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
COVID-19: Perspective
Atypical modes of COVID-19 transmission: how likely are they?
Viroj Wiwanitkit
Epidemiol Health. 2020;42:e2020059.   Published online August 11, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2020059
  • 32,875 View
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new emerging pandemic, which has so far infected more than 20 million people throughout the world. Typically, this infection is transmitted from humans to humans via respiratory contact. However, the possibility that COVID-19 might be transmitted via atypical modes of transmission is an important public health consideration. In this short review article, the author summarizes and discusses the data on atypical modes of COVID-19 transmission. Based on the available data, it seems that there is still no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted via atypical modes of transmission.
Summary

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    Beuy Joob, Viroj Wiwanitkit
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    Saitin Sim, Viroj Wiwanitkit
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    Laura Iosif, Ana Maria Cristina Ţâncu, Andreea Cristiana Didilescu, Marina Imre, Bogdan Mihai Gălbinașu, Radu Ilinca
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COVID-19: Editorial
WHO International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for the COVID-19 outbreak
Youngmee Jee
Epidemiol Health. 2020;42:e2020013.   Published online March 19, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2020013
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
To discuss whether the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), World Health Organization (WHO) organized the 15-member International Health Regulations Emergency Committee (EC). On January 22-23 and January 30, 2020, EC convened and discussed whether the situation in China and other countries would constitute PHEIC and issued recommendations for WHO, China and the international community. Based on the recommendations of EC, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a PHEIC. One of the purposes of the declaration of PHEIC was to alarm countries with weak public health infrastructures to prepare promptly for emerging infectious diseases (EID) and provide WHO with a framework for proactively supporting those countries. On February 3, 2020, WHO proposed the 2019 COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which includes accelerating research and development (R&D) processes as one of three major strategies. On February 11-12, 2020, WHO held the Global Research and Innovation Forum: Towards a Research Roadmap for COVID-19. The fact that a COVID-19 R&D forum was the first meeting convened after the PHEIC declaration testifies to the importance of R&D in response to EID. Korea has demonstrated a remarkable capacity in its laboratory response by conducting high-throughput COVID-19 testing and utilizing innovative drive-through samplings. These measures for early detection and screening of cases should be followed by full efforts to produce research-based evidence by thoroughly analyzing epidemiological, clinical and immunological data, which will facilitate the development of vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. It is expected that Korea plays a global partner for COVID-19 research by actively participating in immediate and mid/long-term priorities jointly led by WHO and global partners.
Summary
Korean summary
WHO는 COVID-19 유행이 국제보건규약(IHR)이 규정하는 국제공중보건위기상황(PHEIC)임을 선포했다. PHEIC의 선포는 신종감염병 연구개발을 가속화하는 기회가 되며, 대한민국도 COVID-19 연구개발을 위한 글로벌 노력에 더욱 적극적으로 참여하여야 한다.

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COVID-19: Brief Communication
An interim review of the epidemiological characteristics of 2019 novel coronavirus
Sukhyun Ryu, Byung Chul Chun, Korean Society of Epidemiology 2019-nCoV Task Force Team
Epidemiol Health. 2020;42:e2020006.   Published online February 6, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2020006
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from Wuhan, China is currently recognized as a public health emergency of global concern.
METHODS
We reviewed the currently available literature to provide up-to-date guidance on control measures to be implemented by public health authorities.
RESULTS
Some of the epidemiological characteristics of 2019-nCoV have been identified. However, there remain considerable uncertainties, which should be considered when providing guidance to public health authorities on control measures.
CONCLUSIONS
Additional studies incorporating more detailed information from confirmed cases would be valuable.
Summary
Korean summary
여러 국외 연구를 통해 2019 신종 코로나바이러스에 대한 역학적 특성이 보고되고 있다. 아직까지 지역사회 전파 예방 및 관리방안을 제시하기 위한 역학적 근거가 아직까지 밝혀지지 않은 부분이 많아 지속적인 추가 연구가 필요하다.

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Special Article
Causes and countermeasures for repeated outbreaks of hepatitis A among adults in Korea
Moran Ki, Hyunjin Son, Bo Youl Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2019;41:e2019038.   Published online September 22, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2019038
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
The 2019 hepatitis A outbreak has become increasingly prevalent among adults in Korea and is the largest outbreak since that in 2009-2010. The incidence in the current outbreak is highest among adults aged 35-44 years, corresponding to the peak incidence among those aged 25-34 years 10 years ago. This may indicate a cohort effect in the corresponding age group. Causes of these repeated outbreaks of hepatitis A in Korea are low level of immunity among adults, Korean food culture that consumes raw seafood such as salted clam and inadequate public health system. Among countermeasures, along with general infectious disease control measures including control of the infectious agent, infection spread, and host, urgent actions are needed to review the vaccination policy and establish an adequate public health system.
Summary
Korean summary
2019년 한국 성인의 A형 간염 유행은 10년전 대규모 유행 이후 가장 큰 규모로발생하고 있다. 주 발생 연령이 10년전 유행보다 10세가 증가한 35-44세로 나타나 연령 코호트 효과라 볼 수 있다. 우리나라의 A형 간염 반복 유행의 원인은 성인의 낮은 집단면역수준, 어패류 생식문화, 공중보건의료체계 미비 등으로 보인다. 이에 대한 대책은 일반적인 감염관리대책인 감염원관리, 전파관리, 숙주관리와 함께 효율적인 백신접종정책, 공고한 공중보건관리체계 마련 등의 근본적 대책이 시급하다.

Citations

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