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COVID-19: Original Article
The impact of COVID-19 on screening for colorectal, gastric, breast, and cervical cancer in Korea
Hyeree Park, Seung Hee Seo, Jong Heon Park, Shin Hye Yoo, Bhumsuk Keam, Aesun Shin
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022053.   Published online June 21, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022053
  • 4,039 View
  • 383 Download
  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the utilization of healthcare services, including participation in cancer screening programs. We compared cancer screening participation rates for colorectal, gastric, breast, and cervical cancers among participants in the National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP) in 2019 and 2020 to address the potential distraction effect of COVID-19 on cancer screening.
METHODS
Data from the NCSP for 4 cancer types (stomach, colorectal, breast, and cervical) in 2019 and 2020 were used to calculate cancer screening participation rates by calendar month, gender, age group, and geographical region. Monthly participation rates were analyzed per 1,000 eligible individuals.
RESULTS
The screening participation rate decreased in 2020 compared to 2019 for all 4 cancers: colorectal (40.5 vs. 35.3%), gastric (61.9 vs. 54.6%), breast (63.8 vs. 55.8%), and cervical (57.8 vs. 52.2%) cancers. Following 2 major COVID-19 waves in March and December 2020, the participation rates in the 4 types of cancer screening dropped compared with those in 2019. The highest decline was observed in the elderly population aged 80 years and older (percentage change: -21% for colorectal cancer; -20% for gastric cancer; -26% for breast cancer; -20% for cervical cancer).
CONCLUSIONS
After the 2 major COVID-19 waves, the screening participation rate for 4 types of cancer declined compared with 2019. Further studies are needed to identify the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer patients, such as delayed diagnoses of cancer or excess cancer deaths.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 코로나 대유행 기간 전과 후 대장암, 위암, 유방암, 자궁경부암 검진 수검률 차이를 비교하고자 하였다. 첫 코로나 확진자가 발생한 2020년을 코로나 대유행 기간, 전년도 기간인 2019년을 코로나 대유행 전 기간으로 설정하며 국민건강보험공단에서 집계된 전수자료를 이용하여 암 검진 대상자 수와 수검자 수를 비교 분석하였다. 4개 암종 모두에서 2019년도와 비교하여 2020년도에 전국적으로 수검률이 감소하는 경향이 있었으며, 1차 대유행이 있었던 3월과 3차 대유행 시기인 12월에 2019년도 동기간과 비교하여 수검률이 크게 감소하였고, 80대 이상 노인 인구에서 감소폭이 다른 연령대와 비교하여 크게 나타났다.
Key Message
We found decline of the colorectal, gastric, breast and cervical cancer screening participation rates in 2020 following the two major COVID-19 waves, compared with those of 2019, and the highest decline was observed in the elderly population aged 80 years and older.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Gastric Cancer Screening in South Korea: Results From the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey (2017–2021)
    Kyeongmin Lee, Mina Suh, Jae Kwan Jun, Kui Son Choi
    Journal of Gastric Cancer.2022; 22(4): 297.     CrossRef
  • Impact of frailty on survival and readmission in patients with gastric cancer undergoing gastrectomy: A meta-analysis
    Xiaoyan Wang, Yimeng Sun, Pei Wang, Yu Jie, Guodong Liu, Dandan Gong, Yu Fan
    Frontiers in Oncology.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
Original Articles
Effect modification of consecutive high concentration days on the association between fine particulate matter and mortality: a multi-city study in Korea
Hyungryul Lim, Sanghyuk Bae, Jonghyuk Choi, Kyung-Hwa Choi, Hyun-Joo Bae, Soontae Kim, Mina Ha, Ho-Jang Kwon
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022052.   Published online June 9, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022052
  • 3,175 View
  • 266 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Although there is substantial evidence for the short-term effect of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on daily mortality, few epidemiological studies have explored the effect of prolonged continuous exposure to high concentrations of PM2.5. This study investigated how the magnitude of the mortality effect of PM2.5 exposure is modified by persistent exposure to high PM2.5 concentrations.
METHODS
We analyzed data on the daily mortality count, simulated daily PM2.5 level, mean daily temperature, and relative humidity level from 7 metropolitan cities from 2006 to 2019. Generalized additive models (GAMs) with quasi-Poisson distribution and random-effects meta-analyses were used to pool city-specific effects. To investigate the effect modification of continuous exposure to prolonged high concentrations, we applied categorical consecutive-day variables to the GAMs as effect modification terms for PM2.5.
RESULTS
The mortality risk increased by 0.33% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16 to 0.50), 0.47% (95% CI, -0.09 to 1.04), and 0.26% (95% CI, -0.08 to 0.60) for all-cause, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, respectively, with a 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration. The risk of all-cause mortality per 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 on the first and fourth consecutive days significantly increased by 0.63% (95% CI, 0.20 to 1.06) and 0.36% (95% CI, 0.01 to 0.70), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS
We found increased risks of all-cause, respiratory, and cardiovascular mortality related to daily PM2.5 exposure on the day when exposure to high PM2.5 concentrations began and when exposure persisted for more than 4 days with concentrations of ≥35 μg/m3. Persistently high PM2.5 exposure had a stronger effect on seniors.
Summary
Korean summary
한국의 7개 대도시를 배경으로 수행한 본 시계열 연구를 통하여 2006년부터 2019년까지의 기간 동안에 초미세먼지의 단기 노출이 일별 사망률을 증가시키며, 교호작용모형을 통해 일평균 35 μg/m3 이상의 고농도 지속기간이 처음 시작되는 날과 넷째 지속일에 이러한 사망효과가 커짐을 보고하였다. 이러한 고농도 지속기간의 교호작용은 65세 이상 연령군에서 더욱 두드러졌다.
Key Message
With our Korean multi-city study design from 2006 to 2019, the short-term effects of PM2.5 on mortality were greater when the high PM2.5 concentration duration began during the day and lasted for approximately 4 days, and the elderly may be more affected by persistently high PM2.5.
Changes in cancer screening before and during COVID‐19: findings from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey 2019 and 2020
Thao Thi Kim Trinh, Yun Yeong Lee, Mina Suh, Jae Kwan Jun, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022051.   Published online May 30, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022051
  • 4,128 View
  • 332 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has negatively affected every aspect of medical care. However, information regarding the impact of the pandemic on cancer screening is lacking. This study aimed to explore cancer screening changes by geographic region before and during the pandemic in Korea.
METHODS
Korean National Cancer Screening Survey data for 2019 and 2020 were used. Changes in the screening rate before and during the COVID-19 pandemic were calculated by subtracting the rate in 2020 from the rate in 2019. Multivariate logistic regression analyses examined the differences in screening rates at the national and 16 provincial levels before and after the COVID-19 outbreak.
RESULTS
The 1-year screening rates for the four types of cancer decreased during the pandemic (stomach cancer: -5.1, colorectal cancer: -3.8, breast cancer: -2.5, cervical cancer: -1.5%p). In metropolitan areas, the odds of undergoing screening tests during the pandemic were significantly lower than before the pandemic for stomach (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 0.76), colorectal (aOR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.79), and breast cancers (aOR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.94). Furthermore, the likelihood of undergoing stomach cancer screening during the pandemic was significantly lower than before the pandemic in non-metropolitan urban areas (aOR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.94), while it was higher in rural areas (aOR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.10 to 2.16).
CONCLUSIONS
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the cancer screening rate has decreased significantly, especially in large cities. Public health efforts are required to improve cancer screening rates.
Summary
Korean summary
• 코로나 대유행 이전과 이후의 최근 1년간 암검진 수검률을 비교한 결과, 위암 (5% 포인트), 대장암 (3.8% 포인트), 유방암 (2.5% 포인트), 자궁경부암 (1.5% 포인트) 수검률이 통계적으로 유의하게 감소하였음 • 특히 위암, 대장암, 유방암의 경우 대도시 지역에서의 수검률이 현저하게 감소하였음
Key Message
The 1-year screening rates for stomach, colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer decreased significantly during the pandemic in Korea, especially in large cities.
Systemic Review
The relationship between metabolic syndrome and its components with bladder cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies
Mozhgan Ahmadinezhad, Maedeh Arshadi, Elahe Hesari, Maedeh Sharafoddin, Hosein Azizi, Farzad Khodamoradi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022050.   Published online May 30, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022050
  • 3,253 View
  • 259 Download
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
A previous meta-analysis, entitled “The association between metabolic syndrome and bladder cancer susceptibility and prognosis: an updated comprehensive evidence synthesis of 95 observational studies involving 97,795,299 subjects,” focused on all observational studies, whereas in the present meta-analysis, we focused on cohort studies to obtain more accurate and stronger evidence to evaluate the association between metabolic syndrome and its components with bladder cancer. PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched to identify studies on the association between metabolic syndrome and its components with bladder cancer from January 1, 2000 through May 23, 2021. The pooled relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to measure this relationship using a random-effects meta-analytic model. Quality appraisal was undertaken using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. In total, 56 studies were included. A statistically significant relationship was found between metabolic syndrome and bladder cancer 1.09 (95% CI, 1.02 to 1.17), and there was evidence of moderate heterogeneity among these studies. Our findings also indicated statistically significant relationships between diabetes (RR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.16 to 1.31) and hypertension (RR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.13) with bladder cancer, but obesity and overweight did not present a statistically significant relationship with bladder cancer. We found no evidence of publication bias. Our analysis demonstrated statistically significant relationships between metabolic syndrome and the risk of bladder cancer. Furthermore, diabetes and hypertension were associated with the risk of bladder cancer.
Summary
Korean summary
Key Message
In this meta-analysis study, an attempt was made to investigate the relationship between metabolic syndrome and its components with bladder cancer, and as a result of this study, the relationship between metabolic syndrome and its components such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and bladder cancer was observed. Metabolic syndrome is more common among middle-aged and elderly people, and the elderly population is increasing worldwide, so the prevalence of this disease shortly may affect the healthcare system. Therefore, with correct health policies in all societies, the exorbitant costs that this disease brings can be avoided.
Original Article
Gender differences in the association between multimorbidity and depression in older Korean adults: an analysis of data from the National Survey of Older Koreans (2011-2017)
SeoYeon Hwang, Jin Young Nam, Jeong Hyun Ahn, Soojin Park
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022049.   Published online May 24, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022049
  • 4,144 View
  • 340 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Previous studies have shown that people with multimorbidity have a higher risk of depression than those without multimorbidity. However, few studies have examined the association between depression and multimorbidity in men and women separately. Since the rates of depression and multimorbidity are different in men and women, it is necessary to examine whether gender differences affect their association.
METHODS
This study included 30,138 participants (aged ≥ 65 years) from the National Survey of Older Koreans (2011-2017). Depression was defined using the Korean version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (SGDS-K). Multimorbidity was defined as people who had 2 or more chronic diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, pulmonary disease, cancer, stroke, or osteoporosis. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association between depression and multimorbidity.
RESULTS
In total, 22.2% and 30.7% of men and women, respectively, had depression. Those with multimorbidity had a higher risk of depression than those without chronic conditions; specifically, the difference in risk among men was greater than that among women. Age was considered a moderator for women. While the effects of pulmonary disease, stroke, and cancer were especially substantial in the integrated analysis, gender differences were observed related to various chronic conditions comorbid with heart disease.
CONCLUSIONS
There are gender differences in the association between multimorbidity and depression among older Korean adults. Therefore, gender-specific care should be provided to reduce depression in older adults with multimorbidity.
Summary
Korean summary
복합만성질환을 가진 남성 노인이 복합만성질환을 가진 여성 노인보다 우울증을 경험할 위험이 높았다. 특히 심장질환을 가진 남성 노인과 여성 노인은 심장질환을 포함한 만성질환의 개수에 따라 우울증 위험에 차이가 있었다. 노인들의 수명 향상을 위해 성별 차이를 고려한 치료 방안과 정책이 마련되어야 한다.
Key Message
Multimorbidity was associated with a high-risk of depression in older Korean adults and the effects of multimorbidity differed by gender.
Epidemiologic Investigation
Investigation of a human brucellosis outbreak in Douz, Tunisia, 2018
Nejib Charaa, Rabaa Ghrab, Aicha Ben Othman, Mohamed Makhlouf, Hejer Ltaief, Nissaf Ben Alaya, Mohamed Chahed
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022048.   Published online May 18, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022048
  • 3,458 View
  • 279 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
In 2017, the incidence of human brucellosis in Tunisia was 9.8 per 100,000 population. In the Douz district, 2 cases were reported in March 2018. Prior to that date, the last indigenous cases to be reported in Douz had been in 2015. This study aimed to identify the source of this new contamination and recommend control interventions.
METHODS
This case-control study included residents of Douz who presented with clinical symptoms of brucellosis and had a subsequent Wright test antibody titer ≥ 1/160. The controls were neighbors of the infected cases who had a negative Rose Bengal test. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to estimate the odds ratios of risk factors. Goats belonging to the cases and controls were actively screened.
RESULTS
Twenty-five infected cases and 52 uninfected controls were enrolled. All infected cases had consumed goat milk and 92% had purchased it from the same breeder. Consumption of goat milk from this breeder (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 30.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.47 to 235.91) and overall consumption of raw goat milk (aOR, 14.84; 95% CI, 2.04 to 310.44) were independent risk factors for brucellosis. The breeder had 18 goats, 5 of which were smuggled from a neighboring country. Three of those goats were diagnosed with brucellosis.
CONCLUSIONS
Consumption of raw milk from smuggled sick goats was the main risk factor in this outbreak. The sick goats were slaughtered and an education campaign was conducted. Vaccination, control of cross-border animal movements, and control of goat milk sales must be strengthened to prevent the spread of brucellosis in southwestern Tunisia.
Summary
Korean summary
Key Message
Human brucellosis, despite being a major economic and health problem and the availability of proven control methods, is still endemic in North African countries. The scarcity of epidemiological data, under-reporting, certain weaknesses in surveillance systems and the lack of well-conducted outbreak investigations, contribute to this endemic state. This field epidemiological investigation of a human brucellosis outbreak highlighted the importance of serological surveillance, the slaughter of infected animals, vaccination, control of animal movements across borders and pasteurization of milk in the fight against this disease.
Original Articles
Epidemiological data on nutritional disorders and outcomes in hospitalized Thai children: an analysis of data from the National Health Database 2015-2019
Suchaorn Saengnipanthkul, Jeeraparn Phosuwattanakul, Kaewjai Thepsuthammarat, Nalinee Chongviriyaphan
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022047.   Published online May 16, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022047
  • 3,145 View
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Malnutrition in hospitalized patients is a frequently overlooked health issue. We aimed to assess the prevalence and pattern of nutritional disorders in hospitalized Thai children from the National Health Database.
METHODS
Hospitalized children aged 1 month to 18 years diagnosed with nutritional disorders between 2015 and 2019 were retrospectively reviewed using the National Health Security Office data. Based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, Clinical Modification, nutritional disorders were classified into 3 major forms of malnutrition: undernutrition (E40-E46), overweight and obesity (E66), and micronutrient deficiencies (D50-D53, E50-E56, E58, E60-E61, and E63).
RESULTS
Out of 5,188,033 hospitalized children, malnutrition was identified in 115,254 (2.2%). Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), overweight and obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies were prevalent in 0.21%, 0.27%, and 1.81%, respectively. Among those with micronutrient deficiencies, 95.0% had iron deficiency anemia, 2.2% had vitamin D deficiency, and 0.7% had zinc deficiency. Children aged under 5 years mostly had PEM, followed by iron deficiency anemia. Teenagers commonly had obesity and vitamin D deficiency. Patients with PEM who were admitted with common diseases had significantly longer hospital stays and higher hospital costs and mortality rates than those without PEM.
CONCLUSIONS
Hospitalized children had various nutritional disorders, particularly PEM, which was associated with higher morbidity and mortality. Nutritional screening tools should be utilized for the early detection and treatment of malnutrition. Specific International Classification of Diseases codes for nutritional care services and intervention should be available. Additionally, nutritional interventions should be reimbursed, along with nutritional education and empowerment of healthcare providers, to improve hospital care service and improve patient outcomes.
Summary
Korean summary
Key Message
Malnutrition is common among hospitalized Thai children, particularly protein energy malnutrition; it increases mortality, length of hospital stay, and hospital costs as well as exerts long-term effects on growth and development. Prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing over the past 5 years, the vast majority involved patients 5 – 13 years of age.
Non-linear association between serum folate concentrations and dyslipidemia: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2016-2018
Taiyue Jin, Eun Young Park, Byungmi Kim, Jin-Kyoung Oh
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022046.   Published online May 15, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022046
  • 3,953 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We aimed to evaluate the association between serum folate concentrations and the prevalence of dyslipidemia.
METHODS
A total of 4,477 adults (2,019 male and 2,458 female) enrolled in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2016-2018 were included. Serum samples were used to assess folate concentrations and total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels. Multivariate logistic regression with sampling weights was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
RESULTS
Elevated TC, TG, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol levels were observed in 506 (11.3%), 646 (14.4%), 434 (9.7%), and 767 (17.1%) participants, respectively. We found non-linear trends between serum folate concentrations and the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hyper-LDL cholesterolemia from the restricted cubic smoothing spline. A higher prevalence of hypercholesterolemia was observed among participants in the first tertile of serum folate concentrations (OR,1.38; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.79) than among those in the second tertile. However, a higher prevalence of hyper-LDL cholesterolemia was identified for both the first and third serum folate concentration tertiles (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.08 to 2.05 and OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.20 to 2.20, respectively); furthermore, in these tertiles, the prevalence of hyper-LDL cholesterolemia was more pronounced among obese participants.
CONCLUSIONS
Non-linear associations may exist between serum folate concentrations and the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hyper-LDL cholesterolemia in adults. The findings suggest that more accurate recommendations about folate intake and folic acid fortification and supplementation should be provided.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 국민건강영양조사 자료를 활용하여 한국 성인에서 혈청 엽산 농도와 고콜레스테롤혈증 및 저밀도지단백 (LDL) 콜레스테롤혈증 유병률 간의 비선형 연관성을 확인하였다. 이 결과는 적정 혈청 엽산 농도와 정확한 엽산 권장섭취량을 추정하는데 근거로 활용될수 있을 것이다.
Key Message
1. The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hyper-LDL cholesterolemia were non-linearly associated with serum concentrations of folate in the Korean population. 2. An inverse association with a significant linear trend between serum folate concentrations and prevalence of hypo-HDL cholesterolemia was observed. 3. In relation to folate intake and folic acid fortification and supplementation, more accurate recommendations should be provided.
Spatial analysis of tuberculosis treatment outcomes in Shanghai: implications for tuberculosis control
Jing Zhang, Xin Shen, Chongguang Yang, Yue Chen, Juntao Guo, Decheng Wang, Jun Zhang, Henry Lynn, Yi Hu, Qichao Pan, Zhijie Zhang
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022045.   Published online May 1, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022045
  • 4,089 View
  • 291 Download
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Tuberculosis (TB) treatment outcomes are a key indicator in the assessment of TB control programs. We aimed to identify spatial factors associated with TB treatment outcomes, and to provide additional insights into TB control from a geographical perspective.
METHODS
We collected data from the electronic TB surveillance system in Shanghai, China and included pulmonary TB patients registered from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2016. We examined the associations of physical accessibility to hospitals, an autoregression term, and random hospital effects with treatment outcomes in logistic regression models after adjusting for demographic, clinical, and treatment factors.
RESULTS
Of the 53,475 pulmonary TB patients, 49,002 (91.6%) had successful treatment outcomes. The success rate increased from 89.3% in 2009 to 94.4% in 2016. The successful treatment outcome rate varied among hospitals from 78.6% to 97.8%, and there were 12 spatial clusters of poor treatment outcomes during the 8-year study period. The best-fit model incorporated spatial factors. Both the random hospital effects and autoregression terms had significant impacts on TB treatment outcomes, ranking 6th and 10th, respectively, in terms of statistical importance among 14 factors. The number of bus stations around the home was the least important variable in the model.
CONCLUSIONS
Spatial autocorrelation and hospital effects were associated with TB treatment outcomes in Shanghai. In highly-integrated cities like Shanghai, physical accessibility was not related to treatment outcomes. Governments need to pay more attention to the mobility of patients and different success rates of treatment among hospitals.
Summary
Korean summary
Key Message
Tuberculosis treatment outcomes, a key indicator in the assessment of TB control programs, were associated with spatial autocorrelation and hospital effects in Shanghai; however, they were not associated with physical accessibility to hospitals.
The impact of COVID-19 on cancer care in a tertiary hospital in Korea: possible collateral damage to emergency care
Shin Hye Yoo, Jin-Ah Sim, Jeongmi Shin, Bhumsuk Keam, Jun-Bean Park, Aesun Shin
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022044.   Published online May 1, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022044
  • 3,774 View
  • 286 Download
  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care in a tertiary hospital in Korea without specific lockdown measures.
METHODS
A retrospective cohort of cancer patients from one of the largest tertiary hospitals in Korea was used to compare healthcare utilization in different settings (outpatient cancer clinic, the emergency department [ED], and admissions to the hematology/oncology ward) between January 1 and December 31, 2020 and the same time period in 2019. The percent changes in healthcare utilization between the 2 periods were calculated.
RESULTS
A total of 448,833 cases from the outpatient cohort, 26,781 cases from the ED cohort, and 14,513 cases from the admission cohort were reviewed for 2019 and 2020. The total number of ED visit cases significantly decreased from 2019 to 2020 by 18.04%, whereas the proportion of cancer patients remained stable. The reduction in ED visits was more prominent in patients with symptoms suspicious for COVID-19, high-acuity cases, and those who lived in non-capital city areas. There were no significant changes in the number of total visits, new cases in the outpatient clinic, or the total number of hospitalizations between the 2 periods.
CONCLUSIONS
During the pandemic, the number of ED visits significantly decreased, while the use of the outpatient clinic and hospitalizations were not affected. Cancer patients’ ED visits decreased after the COVID-19 outbreak, suggesting the potential for collateral damage outside the hospital if patients cannot reach the ED in a timely manner.
Summary
Korean summary
코로나19 이전인 2019년에 비해 코로나19 유행 첫 해인 2020년에 암환자의 1개 상급종합병원 응급실 방문이 유의하게 감소하였고, 특히 코로나19 의심 증상이 있거나, 중증도가 높거나, 비수도권 지역에 거주하는 환자에서 응급실 방문의 감소가 뚜렷하였다. 코로나19 이전과 코로나19 유행 시 외래 방문 암환자의 수, 신환 수는 큰 차이가 없었고, 입원한 암환자의 수 역시 유의한 차이가 없었다. 코로나19 대유행 시 암환자의 응급실 방문 감소는 병원 밖에서 적시에 응급실에 방문하지 못하는 부수적 피해의 가능성을 시사하여, 이에 대한 관심이 필요하다.
Key Message
The study identified a significant decrease in the emergency department visits of the cancer patients at a tertiary hospital in Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no significant changes in the number of total visits, new cases in the outpatient clinic, or the total number of hospitalizations between pre-COVID-19 and during-COVID-19 periods.

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  • COVID-19 Outbreak in Daegu City, Korea and Response to COVID-19: How Have We Dealt and What Are the Lessons?
    Shin-Woo Kim
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
COVID-19: Special Article
Smoking, drinking, and physical activity among Korean adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a special report of the 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Sunhye Choi, Jinwook Bahk, Suyeon Park, Kyungwon Oh, Kyunghee Jung-Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022043.   Published online April 25, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022043
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  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to describe trends in health behaviours between 2011 and 2020 and compare the changes in these behaviours between the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and previous periods according to socio-demographic variables.
METHODS
This study used data from the 2011 to 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Current cigarette smoking, high-risk drinking, and inadequate physical activity levels were used as health behaviour indicators. The age-standardized prevalence, differences in prevalence between the periods, and the annual percentage change (APC) were calculated.
RESULTS
Current cigarette smoking showed a decreasing trend (APC, -2.6), high-risk drinking remained unchanged, and inadequate physical activity levels increased (APC, 3.5) during 2011-2020. There were significant differences in high-risk drinking (3.1%p; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.3 to 5.9) and inadequate physical activity levels (4.3%p; 95% CI, 0.4 to 8.1) between 2019 and 2020 in men. Among men, increased high-risk drinking was found in those aged 40-49 years, non-single households, urban residents, and the middle and highest income groups between 2019 and 2020. The low educational group and manual workers among men aged 30-59 years also showed an increased proportion of high-risk drinking. Inadequate physical activity levels also increased among men between 2019 and 2020 in those aged 30-39 years, non-single households, urban residents, and the upper-middle-income group.
CONCLUSIONS
In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Korean men’s high-risk drinking and inadequate physical activity levels increased. In addition to social efforts to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, active measures to positively change health behaviour are needed.
Summary
Korean summary
코로나 대유행 첫 해인 2020년, 한국 남성에서 고위험음주와 부적절한 신체 활동 수준이 증가하였다. 감염성 질환 대유행 시기, 확산을 차단하기 위한 사회적 노력과 더불어 건강행태에 부정적인 여파가 미치지 않도록 적극적인 대책이 필요함을 시사한다.
Key Message
In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Korean men’s high-risk drinking and inadequate physical activity levels increased. Despite Korea's positive performance in various indicators during the COVID-19 pandemic, the socioeconomic and cultural effects of COVID-19 have affected people's health behaviour. In addition to social efforts to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, active measures to positively change health behaviour are needed.

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  • Current status of health promotion in Korea
    Soo Young Kim
    Journal of the Korean Medical Association.2022; 65(12): 776.     CrossRef
COVID-19: Special Article
Mental health of Korean adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a special report of the 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Hyunsuk Jeong, Suyeon Park, Jihee Kim, Kyungwon Oh, Hyeon Woo Yim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022042.   Published online April 25, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022042
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the associated social distancing, limited freedom, and fear of an uncertain future are expected to have substantial mental health effects. We investigated mental health responses in the community during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea.
METHODS
We used 2016-2019 and 2020 data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) to assess pre-pandemic and pandemic mental health status, respectively, in terms of perceived severe stress, depression, and suicidal plans. All analyses were gender-stratified. Pre-specified subgroup analyses were performed according to age, employment status, and household income.
RESULTS
The percentage of Korean adults with suicidal plans increased significantly from 1.3%p (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 1.5) in 2016-2019 to 1.8%p (95% CI, 1.4 to 2.1) in 2020. Individuals in their 20s and 40s showed a marked increase in suicidal plans (1.2%p; 95% CI, 0.0 to 2.3 and 0.9%p; 95% CI, 0.0 to 1.8, respectively). In men, depression and perceived severe stress increased significantly from pre-COVID-19 to 2020. There was a 2.4%p (95% CI, 0.8 to 4.0) increase in depression among standard workers and a 2.9%p increase in depression in individuals in the second-highest quintile of household income from 2016 and 2018 to 2020.
CONCLUSIONS
As COVID-19 continued, mental health issues such as suicidal plans, depression, and severe stress increased significantly in young men and people in the second-highest quintile of household income. Proactive community mental health efforts are needed to prevent increases in the suicide rate resulting from prolonged exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Summary
Korean summary
코로나19 이전에 비해 코로나19 유행 첫 해 동안에 전체 인구에서 자살 계획 유병율이 유의하게 증가하였고 특히 20대-40대에서 증가 비율이 높았다. PHQ-9으로 측정한 우울증 유병율은 전체 남성에서 증가하였고 특히 30대 남성에서 증가 비율이 높았다. 코로나19 영향으로 자살 계획과 우울증과 같은 정신 건강 문제가 젊은 성인에서 크게 증가하였기 때문에 이러한 정신건강 문제가 자살률 증가로 이어지는 것을 방지하기 위해 국가적 차원의 체계적인 정책과 적극적인 지역사회 정신건강 중재가 필요하다.
Key Message
There was a significant increase in the prevalence of suicidal plan in the overall population during the first year of COVID-19 pandemic compared to pre-COVID-19. In particular, suicide plans increased among those in their 20s and 40s. The prevalence of PHQ-9 detected depression increased in all men, especially among men in their 30s. As mental health problems such as suicide planning and depression have significantly increased among young adults due to the impact of COVID-19, systematic policies at the national level and active community mental health interventions are needed to prevent these mental health problems from leading to an increase in suicide rates.
COVID-19: Special Article
Obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hypercholesterolemia in Korean adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a special report of the 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Ga Bin Lee, Yoonjung Kim, Suyeon Park, Hyeon Chang Kim, Kyungwon Oh
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022041.   Published online April 25, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022041
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  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We investigated trends in obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the Korean adult population.
METHODS
Data from 60,098 participants in the Korea National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey between 2011 and 2020 aged ≥19 were used. The age-standardized prevalence and annual percent changes (APCs) were calculated for obesity (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2), hypertension (systolic/diastolic blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg or under treatment), diabetes (hemoglobin A1c ≥6.5%, fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dL, physician diagnosis, or under treatment), and hypercholesterolemia (total cholesterol ≥240 mg/dL or under treatment).
RESULTS
Over the past decade (2011-2020), the age-standardized APCs (95% confidence intervals) for obesity, hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia were 3.0% (2.1 to 3.8), 0.1% (-1.3 to 1.5), 1.5% (-1.0 to 4.0) and 8.0% (5.7 to 10.3), respectively, in men; and -0.2% (-1.5 to 1.2), -0.5% (-1.9 to 0.9), -0.1% (-2.3 to 2.2) and 5.9% (3.9 to 8.0), respectively, in women. In 2020 compared to the previous 3 years (2017-2019), obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia increased in men (6.0, 1.8, 1.9, and 2.8%p, respectively), but an increase was not apparent in women (2.5, -1.1, 0.8, and 0.7%p, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS
An increase in major chronic diseases was observed in Korean adults, especially men, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to reduce the burden of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in the future, effective intervention strategies need to be developed according to the characteristics of the target groups.
Summary
Korean summary
한국인의 비만, 고혈압, 당뇨 및 고지혈증 유병률은 지난 10년간 전반적으로 증가하는 경향을 보였다. 특히, 코로나 19가 유행한 2020년에 남성의 주요 만성질환 유병률은 지난 3년 평균치와 비교하였을 때 모두 유의하게 증가하였다. 반면, 여성에서 만성질환 유병률의 뚜렷한 증가는 관찰되지 않았다.
Key Message
During COVID-19 pandemic, the overall increase in major chronic diseases was observed in Korean adults, and this trend was prominent in men. Accordingly, target-specific intervention strategies need to be developed to reduce the burden of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in the future.

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  • Prevalence and management of hypertension in Korean adults
    Hyeon Chang Kim
    Journal of the Korean Medical Association.2022; 65(10): 633.     CrossRef
  • Association between Mental Health and Hand Hygiene Practices in Adults with Hypertension and Diabetes during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The 2020 Korea Community Health Survey
    Pius Kim, Hae Ran Kim
    Healthcare.2022; 10(10): 1912.     CrossRef
Original Articles
The association of pancreatic cancer incidence with smoking status and smoking amount in Korean men
Do Jin Nam, Chang-Mo Oh, Eunhee Ha, Min-Ho Kim, Eun Hye Yang, Hyo Choon Lee, Soon Su Shin, Woo Yeon Hwang, Ann Hee You, Jae-Hong Ryoo
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022040.   Published online April 21, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022040
  • 4,127 View
  • 394 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Our study examined the dose-response relationship between smoking amounts (pack-years) and the risk of developing pancreatic cancer in Korean men.
METHODS
Of 125,743 participants who underwent medical health checkups in 2009, 121,408 were included in the final analysis and observed for the development of pancreatic cancer. We evaluated the associations between smoking amounts and incident pancreatic cancer in 4 groups classified by pack-year amounts. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of incident pancreatic cancer by comparing groups 2 (<20 pack-year smokers), 3 (20-≤40 pack-year smokers), and 4 (>40 pack-year smokers) with group 1 (never smokers).
RESULTS
During 527,974.5 person-years of follow-up, 245 incident cases of pancreatic cancer developed between 2009 and 2013. The multivariate-adjusted HRs (95% CIs) for incident pancreatic cancer in groups 2, 3, and 4 were 1.05 (0.76 to 1.45), 1.28 (0.91 to 1.80), and 1.57 (1.00 to 2.46), respectively (p for trend=0.025). The HR (95% CI) of former smokers showed a dose-response relationship in the unadjusted model, but did not show a statistically significant association in the multivariate-adjusted model. The HR (95% CI) of current smokers showed a dose-response relationship in both the unadjusted (p for trend=0.020) and multivariate-adjusted models (p for trend=0.050).
CONCLUSIONS
The risk of developing pancreatic cancer was higher in current smokers status than in former smokers among Korean men, indicating that smoking cessation may have a protective effect.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구에서는 대한민국 남성을 대상으로 흡연양 및 흡연상태에 따른 췌장암 발병을 분석하였다. 흡연양이 많을수록, 현재 흡연상태일수록 췌장암 발병이 높았고, 금연한 경우 췌장암의 발병이 낮은 것을 확인할 수 있었다.
Key Message
As a result of analyzing the incidence of pancreatic cancer according to the amount of smoking and smoking status among Korean men, it was confirmed that the more smoked and the current smoking status, the higher the incidence of pancreatic cancer, and the lower the incidence of pancreatic cancer when quitting smoking.
The association between fruit and vegetable consumption and metabolic syndrome in Korean adults: does multivitamin use matter?
Jihae Kim, Li-Juan Tan, Hyein Jung, Yumi Roh, Kyungjoon Lim, Sangah Shin
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022039.   Published online April 19, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022039
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is closely associated with dietary intake; however, few studies have investigated whether the consumption of fruits and vegetables and multivitamin use affect MetS in the Korean population. This study aimed to examine these effects in Korean adults.
METHODS
This was a cross-sectional study of 89,548 participants aged between 40 years and 69 years selected from the baseline data of the Health Examinees study conducted in Korea. Fresh vegetable and fruit consumption was assessed using a validated 106-item food frequency questionnaire. MetS and its components were defined using the National Cholesterol Education Program, Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify associations of fresh vegetable, fruit, and fresh vegetable+fruit consumption and multivitamin use with the prevalence of MetS.
RESULTS
Female in the highest quartile of fresh vegetable, fruit, and fresh vegetable + fruit consumption exhibited a lower prevalence of MetS than those in the lowest quartile. An inverse association with the prevalence of MetS was observed among male with only fresh vegetable consumption. The interaction between the 3 categories and multivitamin intake on the prevalence of MetS was not significant (all pinteraction>0.05), regardless of sex.
CONCLUSIONS
Multivitamin use and consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits had no significant synergistic effects. Although fresh vegetable and fruit consumption showed an inverse association with the prevalence of MetS, this relationship was not altered by multivitamin use.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 한국인 유전체역학조사사업의 도시코호트 조사에 참여한 40-69세 한국 성인 89 548명의 과일과 채소의 섭취와 종합비타민 섭취가 대사증후군에 미치는 영향을 분석하였다. 본 연구에서는 매일 다양한 과일과 채소를 섭취하면, 종합비타민의 섭취와 상관없이 대사증후군 유병 위험도를 낮추는 것을 확인하였다. 따라서, 대사증후군 예방을 위해서는 일상적인 식사에서 충분한 과일과 채소를 섭취하는 것이 권장된다.
Key Message
This study aimed to examine whether the consumption of fruits and vegetables and multivitamin use affect MetS among Korean middle-aged adults. Data was from the Health Examinees Study among 89 548 subjects. Results suggested that fruits and vegetables consumption was related with a decreased prevalence of MetS. However, there was no significant synergistic effect between the consumption of fruits and vegetables and multivitamin use in further reducing MetS prevalence.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health