Health care use and economic burden of patients with diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Korea

C. Kim, K. H. Yoo, C. K. Rhee, H. K. Yoon, Y. S. Kim, S. W. Lee, Y. M. Oh, S. D. Lee, J. H. Lee, K. J. Kim, J. H. Kim, Yong Bum Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The prevalence and economic burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are increasing worldwide. However, little information is available concerning COPD-associated health care use and costs in Korea. OBJECTIVE: To analyse 1) health care use, medical costs and medication use in 2009, and 2) changes in costs and medication use over 5 years (2006-2010). DESIGN: Using the database of the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, COPD patients were identified by searching on both ICD-10 codes and COPD medication. RESULTS : A total of 192 496 COPD patients were identified in 2009. Total medical costs per person were US$2803 ± 3865; the average annual number of days of out-patient care and days of hospitalisation were respectively 40 ± 36 and 11 ± 33. Methylxanthine and systemic beta-agonists were the most frequently used drugs. However, the number of prescriptions for long-acting muscarinic antagonist increased rapidly. The total cost of COPD-related medications increased by 33.1% over 5 years. CONCLUSION: The present study provides new insight into health care use and the economic burden of COPD in Korea. Changing patterns of COPD-related medication use could help inform COPD management policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-743+i
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • Chronic obstructive
  • Drug prescriptions
  • Health care costs
  • Health care use
  • Pulmonary disease


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