The gaps in health-adjusted life years (HALE) by income and region in Korea: A national representative bigdata analysis

Young Eun Kim, Yoon Sun Jung, Minsu Ock, Hyesook Park, Ki Beom Kim, Dun Sol Go, Seok Jun Yoon

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This study aims to calculate the health-adjusted life years (HALE) by using years lived with disability (YLD) from the national claims data, as well as to identify the differences and inequalities in income level and region. The study was carried out on total population receiving health insurance and medical benefits. We calculated incidence-based YLD for 260 disease groups, and used it as the number of healthy years lost to calculate HALE. We adopted the insurance premium to calculate the income as a proxy indicator. For the region classification, we chose 250 Korean municipal-level administrative districts. Our results revealed that HALE increased from 2008 to 2018. HALE in males increased faster than that in females. HALE was higher in higher income levels. In 2018, the gap in HALE between Q1 and Q2, the lower income group, was about 5.57 years. The gap in females by income level was smaller than that in males. Moreover, the gap in HALE by region was found to increase. Results suggest that there is an inequality in YLD in terms of income level in Korea. Therefore, we need intensive management for the low-income group to promote HALE at the national level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3473
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Health-adjusted life years
  • Income
  • Inequality
  • Region
  • Years lived with disability


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