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Volume 44; 2022
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Erratum
Erratum: Trends in gastrointestinal infections before and during non-pharmaceutical interventions in Korea in comparison with the United States
Soyeoun Kim, Jinhyun Kim, Bo Youl Choi, Boyoung Park
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022011.E.   Published online December 31, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022011.E
Corrects: Epidemiol Health 2022;44:e2022011
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Abstract
Summary
Original Articles
Multimorbidity patterns by health-related quality of life status in older adults: an association rules and network analysis utilizing the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Thi-Ngoc Tran, Sanghee Lee, Chang-Mo Oh, Hyunsoon Cho
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022113.   Published online November 29, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022113
  • 4,414 View
  • 174 Download
  • 1 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Improved life expectancy has increased the prevalence of older adults living with multimorbidity which likely deteriorates their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However, relatively little is known about patterns and the relationships of multimorbidity by HRQoL status in older adults.
METHODS
Individuals aged 65 or older from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey V-VII (2010-2018) were analyzed. HRQoL was assessed by the EuroQoL-5 dimensions questionnaire and categorized as poor, normal, or good. The impact of multimorbidity on HRQoL was evaluated using logistic regression. The patterns and inter-relationships between multimorbidity, stratified by HRQoL groups, were analyzed using the association rules and network analysis approach.
RESULTS
Multimorbidity was significantly associated with poor HRQoL (3 or more diseases vs. none; adjusted odds ratio, 2.70; 95% confidence interval, 2.10 to 3.46). Hypertension, arthritis, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes were the most prevalent diseases across all HRQoL groups. Complex interrelationships of morbidities, higher prevalence, and node strengths in all diseases were observed in the poor HRQoL group, particularly for arthritis, depression, and stroke, compared to other groups (1.5-3.0 times higher, p<0.05 for all). Apart from hypertension, arthritis and hyperlipidemia had a higher prevalence and stronger connections with other diseases in females, whereas this was the case for diabetes and stroke in males with poor HRQoL.
CONCLUSIONS
Multimorbidity patterns formed complicatedly inter-correlated disease networks in the poor HRQoL group with differences according to sex. These findings enhance the understanding of multimorbidity connections and provide information on the healthcare needs of older adults, especially those with poor HRQoL.
Summary
Korean summary
기대 수명의 증가에 따라 고령인구에서 건강관련 삶의 질을 저하시킬 수 있는 복합질환의 유병률도 함께 증가하고 있다. 본 연구에서는 국민건강영양조사 자료를 이용하여 65세 이상 우리나라 고령인구에서 건강관련 삶의 질 (HRQoL)에 따른 복합만성질환 패턴을 분석하였다. 복합만성질환은 건강관련 삶의 질 저하와 통계적으로 유의하게 연관되어 있으며, 연관성 및 네크워크 분석 결과 건강관련 삶의 질이 낮을수록 복합질환의 패턴이 복잡한 것으로 나타났다. 전체적으로 고혈압, 관절염, 고지혈증, 당뇨병이 가장 높은 발생률을 보였다. 건강관련 삶의 질이 낮은 그룹에서는 관절염, 우울증, 뇌졸중 등의 질병이 높은 발생률과 상호관련성을 보였으며, 이는 성별에 따라 차이가 있었다. 연구 결과는 고령자, 특히 건강관련 삶의 질이 낮은 노인의 의료 서비스 요구에 대해 정보를 제공해 줄 수 있을 것이다,
Key Message
Network analysis of older adults (65 or older) in Korea showed that hypertension, arthritis, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes were the most common multimorbidity regardless of HRQoL status. However, as HRQoL deteriorated, multimorbidity patterns formed complicatedly inter-correlated disease networks; the prevalence and the node strength of arthritis, depression, and stroke increased considerably and be diversified by sex.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Health-promoting behavior to enhance perceived meaning and control of life in chronic disease patients with role limitations and depressive symptoms: a network approach
    Je-Yeon Yun, Young Ho Yun
    Scientific Reports.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Mediation analysis of leisure activities on the association between cognitive function and mortality: a longitudinal study of 42,942 Chinese adults 65 years and older
Xingxing Chen, Wenfan Wu, Xian Zhang, Tingxi Long, Wenyu Zhu, Rundong Hu, Xurui Jin, Lijing L. Yan, Yao Yao
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022112.   Published online November 27, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022112
  • 4,074 View
  • 238 Download
  • 3 Web of Science
  • 3 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Previous studies have established associations of cognitive function and leisure activities with mortality. This study aimed to evaluate whether leisure activities causally mediate these associations.
METHODS
This longitudinal study included 42,246 participants aged over 65 years from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. The Mini-Mental State Examination and a self-reported scale were used to measure cognitive status and leisure activities, respectively. We examined the associations of cognitive function and leisure activities with mortality using Cox proportional hazards models. Causal mediation analysis was used to assess whether leisure activities mediated the association between cognitive function and mortality.
RESULTS
Cognitive function and leisure activities were inversely associated with mortality. Leisure activities accounted for 28.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 25.6 to 31.1) of the total effect of cognitive function and mortality. A higher mediated proportion (PM) was observed for physical leisure activities (PM, 20.1%; 95% CI, 18.0 to 22.3) than for social leisure activities (PM, 17.7%; 95% CI, 15.7 to 19.7). The mediating effect was higher among participants at younger ages (PM, 41.5%; 95% CI, 21.3 to 65.4), those with higher education levels (PM, 30.5%; 95% CI, 25.3 to 36.2), and residents of rural China (PM, 42.5%; 95% CI, 25.4 to 62.5).
CONCLUSIONS
Cognitive function was associated with inverse mortality. Leisure activities significantly mediated this association. Participation in leisure activities at the early stages of mild cognitive impairment could reduce the risk of mortality, which has a major impact on interventional strategies for healthy aging.
Summary
Key Message
Both cognitive function and leisure activities were associated with inverse mortality. Leisure activities were an important mediator of the association between cognitive function and mortality. A planned intervention for leisure activities, at an early stage of mild cognitive impairment, could promote health outcomes and optimally reduce the risk of mortality.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Cognitive performance and all-cause mortality in community dwellers of Amerindian ancestry living in rural Ecuador: A population-based, longitudinal prospective study
    Oscar H. Del Brutto, Denisse A. Rumbea, Aldo F. Costa, Maitri Patel, Mark J. Sedler, Robertino M. Mera
    Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery.2024; 236: 108053.     CrossRef
  • Healthy lifestyle in late-life, longevity genes, and life expectancy among older adults: a 20-year, population-based, prospective cohort study
    Jun Wang, Chen Chen, Jinhui Zhou, Lihong Ye, Yang Li, Lanjing Xu, Zinan Xu, Xinwei Li, Yuan Wei, Junxin Liu, Yuebin Lv, Xiaoming Shi
    The Lancet Healthy Longevity.2023; 4(10): e535.     CrossRef
  • Associations of Unhealthy Lifestyle and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease With Cardiovascular Healthy Outcomes
    Wentao Wu, Wen Ma, Shiqi Yuan, Aozi Feng, Li Li, Haoxiao Zheng, Shuna Li, Ningxia He, Yuli Huang, Jun Lyu
    Journal of the American Heart Association.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Trends in breast cancer screening rates among Korean women: results from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey, 2005-2020
Soo Yeon Song, Yun Yeong Lee, Hye Young Shin, Bomi Park, Mina Suh, Kui Son Choi, Jae Kwan Jun
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022111.   Published online November 24, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022111
  • 2,798 View
  • 142 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 2 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Since 2002, the Korean government has provided breast cancer screening as part of the National Cancer Screening Program. This study reported trends in the screening rate among Korean women from 2005 to 2020, including organized and opportunistic screening for breast cancer.
METHODS
Data from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey, an annual cross-sectional nationwide survey, were collected using a structured questionnaire between 2005 and 2020. The study population included 23,702 women aged 40-74 years with no history of cancer. We estimated the screening rate based on the current recommendation of biennial mammographic screening for breast cancer. In addition, a joinpoint trend analysis was performed for breast cancer screening rates among various subgroups.
RESULTS
In 2020, the breast cancer screening rate was 63.5%, reflecting an annual increase of 7.72% (95% confidence interval 5.53 to 9.95) between 2005 and 2012, followed by non-significant trends thereafter. In particular, a significant decrease in the breast cancer screening rate was observed in the subgroups aged 50-59 years old, with 12-15 years of education, and living in rural areas.
CONCLUSIONS
Although there has been substantial improvement in breast cancer screening rates in Korean women, the trend has flattened in recent years. Therefore, continual efforts are required to identify subgroups with unmet needs and solve barriers to the uptake of breast cancer screening.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 2005년에서 2020년까지 암검진수검행태조사 자료를 이용하여 40세 이상의 우리나라 여성의 유방암 검진 수검률이 추이에 대해 분석하였다. 우리나라 유방암 검진 수검률은 2020년 현재 63.5%이다. 하지만 지속적으로 증가하던 유방암 검진 수검률의 추이는 2012년 이후 정체되어 있으며 일부 사회경제적 계층에서는 감소하는 경향을 보였다.
Key Message
In Korea, despite of the high level of breast cancer screening rate, decreasing trends in some socioeconomic classes after 2012. Continual efforts are required to identify subgroup with unmet needs and barriers to the uptake of breast cancer screening.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Why is the screening rate in lung cancer still low? A seven-country analysis of the factors affecting adoption
    Charlotte Poon, Tim Wilsdon, Iqra Sarwar, Alexander Roediger, Megan Yuan
    Frontiers in Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Mammographic Breast Density and Risk of Ovarian Cancer in Korean Women
    Thi Xuan Mai Tran, Soyeoun Kim, Boyoung Park
    Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.2023; 32(12): 1690.     CrossRef
Cause-specific mortality in Korea during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic
Jinwook Bahk, Kyunghee Jung-Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022110.   Published online November 23, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022110
  • 3,607 View
  • 143 Download
  • 1 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to examine the trends in total mortality between 1998 and 2020 and to compare the changes in a wide range of detailed causes of death between 2020 (i.e., during the coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19] pandemic) and the previous year in Korea.
METHODS
We used registered population and mortality data for the years 1998-2020 obtained from Statistics Korea. The age-standardized all-cause mortality rate and the annual percent change between 1998 and 2020 were determined. The rate ratio and rate difference of the age-standardized mortality rate between 2019 and 2020 were calculated.
RESULTS
The age-standardized all-cause mortality rate in Korea has been on a downward trend since 1998, and the decline continued in 2020. In 2020, 950 people died from COVID-19, accounting for 0.3% of all deaths. Mortality decreased for most causes of death; however, the number of deaths attributed to sepsis and aspiration pneumonia increased between 2019 and 2020 for both men and women. Age-specific mortality rates decreased or remained stable between 2019 and 2020 for all age groups, except women aged 25-29. This increase was mainly attributed to a higher number of suicide deaths.
CONCLUSIONS
This study shed light on the issues of sepsis and aspiration pneumonia despite the successful response to COVID-19 in Korea in 2020. Cases of death from sepsis and aspiration pneumonia should be identified and monitored. In addition, it is necessary to develop a proactive policy to address suicide among young people, especially young women.
Summary
Korean summary
1998년 이래 한국의 연령표준화 총사망률은 지속적으로 감소하였고, 이러한 경향은 코로나19 대유행 첫해인 2020년에도 관찰되었다. 대부분 사망원인별 사망률이 코로나19 대유행이후에도 감소하였으나, 패혈증 및 흡인성 폐렴으로 인한 사망자가 남성과 여성 모두에서 증가했다. 연령별 사망률에서는 25-29세 여성을 제외한 모든 연령대에서 2019년에 비해 2020년 사망률이 감소하거나 유지되었고, 25-29세 여성의 사망률 증가는 주로 자살 사망의 증가에 기인했다.
Key Message
During 1988-2020, the age-standardized all-cause mortality rate in Korea has been on a downward trend and the decline continued in 2020. In 2020, mortality decreased for most causes of death, however, the number of deaths attributed to sepsis and aspiration pneumonia increased between 2019 and 2020. Age-specific mortality rates decreased or remained stable between 2019 and 2020 for all age groups, except women aged 25-29. This was mainly attributed to increased suicide deaths.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Evaluation of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the all-cause, cause-specific mortality, YLL, and life expectancy in the first 2 years in an Iranian population—an ecological study
    Zahra Pirayesh, Seyed Mohammad Riahi, Ali Bidokhti, Toba Kazemi
    Frontiers in Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Systematic Reviews
Non-cancer health risks in firefighters: a systematic review
Jeong Ah Kim, Soo Yeon Song, Wonjeong Jeong, Jae Kwan Jun
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022109.   Published online November 16, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022109
  • 4,028 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
osFirefighters are occupationally exposed to hazardous factors that may increase their risk of disease. However, non-cancer disease risk in firefighters has not been systematically examined. This systematic review aimed to identify non-cancer disease risk in firefighters and determine whether the risk differs according to job characteristics. We searched the Cochrane Library, Embase, PubMed, and KoreaMed databases using relevant keywords from their inception to April 30, 2021. The Risk of Bias Assessment Tool for Non-randomized Studies version 2.0 was used to assess the quality of evidence. Due to study heterogeneity, a narrative synthesis was presented. The systematic literature search yielded 2,491 studies, of which 66 met the selection and quality criteria. We confirmed that the healthy worker effect is strong in firefighters as compared to the general population. We also identified a significant increase in the incidence of lumbar disc herniation, lower back pain, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in firefighters compared to other occupational groups. Contradictory results for the risk of PTSD and anxiety disorders related to rank were reported. Sufficient evidence for increased risk of lumbar disc herniation, lower back pain, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, and PTSD was available. The risk of non-cancer diseases varied depending on job type, years of service, and rank. However, caution should be exercised when interpreting the results because the classification criteria for firefighters’ jobs and ranks differ by country.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 소방관과 비암성 질환과의 직업관련성을 파악하기 위해 체계적 문헌고찰을 수행하였다. 소방관은 근골격계 질환, 협심증, 심근경색, 외상후 스트레스 장애 등 일부 질환에서 일관된 직업관련성이 보고되었다. 하지만 대부분의 연구에서 연구결과가 건강근로자효과의 영향을 보정하지 못하였고 근무형태, 근무조건, 근무강도 등에 따라 일관되지 못한 결과를 보고하고 있다.
Key Message
In firefighters, risks of lumbar disc herniation, lower back pain, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, and post-traumatic stress disorder were increased constantly. Due to the failure to avoid the healthy-worker effect, consistent relationship between firefighters and non-cancerous diseases has not been reported.
The status quo of systematic reviews published in high-impact journals in Korea: a study focused on protocol registration and GRADE use
Mi Ah Han, Seong Jung Kim, Eu Chang Hwang, Jae Hung Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022108.   Published online November 15, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022108
  • 2,356 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study investigated the status quo of systematic reviews published in major journals in Korea from the perspective of protocol registration and adopting the grading of recommendation, assessment, development and evaluation (GRADE) system.
METHODS
We examined systematic reviews published in Korea’s top 15 medical journals from 2018 to 2021. Teams of 2 reviewers assessed the studies’ eligibility criteria and extracted data independently and in duplicate. We collected information on study characteristics, protocol registration, and GRADE use of the included reviews, and reviewed the “Instructions for Authors” of the selected journals to assess any guidance related to systematic reviews.
RESULTS
Out of the 126 identified reviews, 18 (14.3%) reported that they registered or published their protocol. Only 5 (4.0%) rated the certainty of evidence; and all 5 used the GRADE system. Only 6 of 15 journals mentioned systematic reviews in their “Instructions for Authors.” Six journals endorsed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) framework for systematic review reporting (2 mandatory, 3 recommended, and 1 unclear). None of the journals included mentioned protocol registration or certainty of evidence in their authors’ guidelines.
CONCLUSIONS
Overall, the proportion of systematic reviews that had prior protocol registration or used the GRADE approach to rate the certainty of evidence was very low. Our study highlights the need for adherence to systematic review standards in medical journals in Korea, including prior protocol registration and certainty of evidence assessment. Our review will help improve the quality of systematic reviews in Korea.
Summary
Korean summary
한국 의학 저널에서 계획서를 사전에 등록하거나 근거의 확실성을 평가하기 위해 GRADE 접근 방식을 사용한 체계적 문헌고찰의 분율은 낮았다. 우리의 연구는 계획서 등록 및 근거의 확실성 평가를 포함하여 체계적 문헌고찰의 방법론적 표준 준수의 필요성을 강조한다.
Key Message
The proportion of systematic reviews that had prior protocol registration or used the GRADE approach to rate the certainty of evidence was very low in Korean medical journals, and our study highlights the need for adherence to systematic review standards in medical journals in Korea, including prior protocol registration and certainty of evidence assessment.
COVID-19: Original Article
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
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022107.   Published online November 15, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022107
  • 4,056 View
  • 183 Download
  • 2 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Socioeconomic disparities have been reported as major risk factors contributing to the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the community level. We conducted an epidemiological study on COVID-19 incidence risk using area-based deprivation indices (DIs) reflecting the characteristics of the susceptible population.
METHODS
A database of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in 8 metropolitan cities in Korea from January 20, 2020 to December 31, 2021 was combined with area-based DI scores and standardized prevalence rates of diabetes and hypertension from the Korean Community Health Survey. Relative risk (RR) levels were estimated using a generalized linear model with a Poisson distribution by age group.
RESULTS
The risk of COVID-19 incidence generally increased with increasing age, especially in patients aged ≥75 years. The RR of COVID-19 incidence per interquartile range increment of the composite deprivation index (composite DI) was 1.54 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.34 to 1.70). Notably, in the first wave, the risk of COVID-19 incidence was approximately 3 times higher in the region with the lowest socioeconomic status than in the region with the highest status (RR, 3.08; 95% CI, 2.42 to 3.78 based on the the composite DI and RR, 3.13; 95% CI, 2.53 to 3.83 based on the social deprivation index).
CONCLUSIONS
This study provides scientific evidence that socioeconomic deprivation is an important risk factor for the spread of COVID-19. This finding suggests that a mid-term to long-term strategy is needed to protect susceptible populations and reduce the burden of COVID-19 in the community.
Summary
Korean summary
한국의 COVID-19 발생 위험은 지역박탈수준이 높은 지역에서 증가하였고, 특히 유행 초기 75세이상 연령층에서 뚜렷하게 증가하는 것으로 나타났다. 따라서 지역사회수준에서 사회경제적 여건을 고려하여 취약집단에서의 발생위험을 감소시키기 위해 중장기 전략을 세워야 한다는 것을 시사한다.
Key Message
There is a need to develop long-term strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in vulnerable populations in areas with poor socioeconomic conditions

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • The current state of graphical abstracts and how to create good graphical abstracts
    Jieun Lee, Jeong-Ju Yoo
    Science Editing.2023; 10(1): 19.     CrossRef
  • Social deprivation and SARS-CoV-2 testing: a population-based analysis in a highly contrasted southern France region
    Jordi Landier, Léa Bassez, Marc-Karim Bendiane, Pascal Chaud, Florian Franke, Steve Nauleau, Fabrice Danjou, Philippe Malfait, Stanislas Rebaudet, Jean Gaudart
    Frontiers in Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
COVID-19: Original Article
Perceived usefulness of COVID-19 tools for contact tracing among contact tracers in Korea
Seonyeong Gong, Jong Youn Moon, Jaehun Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022106.   Published online November 15, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022106
  • 2,820 View
  • 80 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
In Korea, contact tracing for coronavirus disease 2019 is conducted using information from credit card records, handwritten visitor logs, KI-Pass (QR code), and the Safe Call system after an interview. We investigated the usefulness of these tools for contact tracing.
METHODS
An anonymous survey was conducted for 2 months (July to September 2021) among contact tracers throughout Korea. The questionnaire consisted of 4 parts: (1) demographic characteristics; (2) the usefulness of each tool for contact tracing; (3) the order in which information was checked during contact tracing; and (4) the match rate between tools for contact tracing, screening test rate, response rate, and helpfulness (rated on a Likert scale).
RESULTS
In total, 190 individuals completed the survey. When asked to rate the usefulness of each tool for contact tracing on a Likert scale, most respondents (86.3%) provided positive responses for credit card records, while the most common responses for handwritten visitor logs were negative. The highest percentage of positive responses for helpfulness was found for KI-Pass (91.1%), followed in descending order by credit card records (82.6%), Safe Call (78.2%), and handwritten visitor logs (22.1%).
CONCLUSIONS
Over 80% of participants provided positive responses for credit card records, KI-Pass, and Safe Call data, while approximately 50% provided negative responses regarding the usefulness of handwritten visitor logs. Our findings highlight the need to unify systems for post-interview contact tracing to increase their convenience for contact tracers, as well as the need to improve tools utilizing handwritten visitor logs for digitally vulnerable groups.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 국내 역학조사 담당자들을 대상으로 시행한 설문조사를 중심으로 면담조사 후 추가적으로 실시하는 다양한 접촉자 추적 방법의 유용성에 대한 분석을 목표로 한다. 응답자 중 약 80% 이상이 카드결제기록, KI-Pass, GPS 및 CCTV 정보의 유용성에 대해 긍정적으로 응답하였다. 반면 약 50%는 수기명부의 유용성에 대해 부정적으로 응답하였다. 본 연구의 결과는 역학조사관과 사용자 모두의 편의를 위해 역학조사 방법의 일원화가 필요할 뿐만 아니라 디지털 취약 계층을 위해 수기명부를 대체할 수 있는 시스템의 필요성을 시사한다.
Key Message
We conducted an anonymous online survey to assess the usefulness of tools for contact tracing for COVID-19 in Korea. Over 80% of participants provided positive responses regarding the usefulness of credit card records, KI-Pass, and Safe Call data, while approximately 50% provided negative responses regarding the usefulness of handwritten visitor logs. Our findings highlight the need to unify contact tracing systems to increase their convenience for contact tracers.
Epidemiologic Investigation
An outbreak of neurologic symptoms among patients exposed to an unknown stench in a high school near an industrial complex: an epidemiological investigation
Kiook Baek, Seongmin Jo, Chulyong Park, Joon Sakong
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022105.   Published online November 9, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022105
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Seven students at a high school in Korea visited the emergency room with non-specific neurological symptoms after a stench was noticed during a school entrance ceremony. In relation to this incident, 105 patients visited medical institutions over 5 days. A team of environmental and epidemiological experts was assembled to investigate the incident.
METHODS
Our team of experts participated in the investigation 1 month post-incident. Previously, only air samples had been analyzed. We received results of air samples analyzed by other investigators, medical records of some students, and data from police interviews of patients. Additional investigation and interviews were conducted, and the events were reconstructed in spatial and temporal order.
RESULTS
A cluster of patients was observed on the south side and parts of the north side of the upper floor. A stench like that reported during the incident had been noticed for about 2 years near the school. Students consistently described a similar stench occurring frequently in the vicinity of the school. According to student statements, the odor mainly resembled something burning. The carboxyhemoglobin levels of some students were observed to be >1.5%.
CONCLUSIONS
In the investigation, 2 suspected sources were identified: a science room storing chemicals downstairs from the auditorium and various industrial facilities near the school. Combining the scattered evidence, we considered a toxic puff of gas, perhaps from brief incineration or leakage in a specific area, to be the likely cause of the incident. We describe our approach and the limitations encountered during the investigation.
Summary
Korean summary
본 논문은 일개 고등학교에서 원인미상의 악취와 함께 100명 이상의 환자가 발생한 사건에 대한 조사과정을 담은 문헌이다. 본 연구진은 사건 발생 후 약 1달 후에 조사진에 합류하였으며, 발생 당시 환자 분포 점지도 작성, 인근 지역 사업장 및 악취발생 장소 점지도 작성, 사건 전후 시계열적 사건분석, 기상자료, 관계자 인터뷰 자료 분석 등의 역학적 기법을 동원하여 원인을 인근 지역에서 발생한 퍼프 가스의 유입으로 추정하였다. 본 사건의 원인은 결국 미제로 종결되었지만 추후 유사 사례 발생시 본 조사의 방법론을 참고할 수 있을 것이며, 의료진의 조기 개입을 수행하지 못함으로 인한 초기 상세 인터뷰 자료 확보, 생체 시료 수집 등이 이루어지지 못한 본 조사 과정의 한계점을 반면교사로 삼을 수 있을 것이다.
Key Message
This paper presents an investigation of an outbreak of over 100 patients experiencing an unexplained odor in a high school. The research team utilized epidemiological methods, including dot mapping, temporal analysis of events, and interview data analysis. The source of the odor was estimated to be the inflow of puff gas from surrounding areas. Although the toxic puff gas discharge facility was not identified, sharing the experience from this investigation could help with future investigations of similar incidents.
Original Articles
Long working hours and the risk of hypothyroidism in healthy Korean workers: a cohort study
Yesung Lee, Woncheol Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022104.   Published online November 8, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022104
  • 3,549 View
  • 207 Download
  • 1 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Long working hours have been reported to cause various health problems, but are currently practiced in many countries. Building upon a previous cross-sectional study, the authors aimed to elucidate the causal relationship between long working hours and hypothyroidism through a longitudinal study.
METHODS
Data were collected at baseline from 45,259 participants without thyroid disease and with consistent weekly working hours (36-40, 41-52, 53-60, and >60 hours) during the follow-up period. Hypothyroidism was defined using the reference limits of serum thyroid-stimulating hormone and free thyroxine levels. By estimating hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, the risk of incident hypothyroidism was evaluated with 36-40 hours of work per week as the reference.
RESULTS
During 138,261.7 person-years of follow-up, 2,914 participants developed hypothyroidism (incidence density, 2.11/102 person-years). The multivariable-adjusted HRs of incident hypothyroidism for 41-52 hours, 53-60 hours, and >60 hours of work per week were 1.13 (95% CI, 1.03 to 1.24), 2.53 (95% CI, 2.17 to 2.95), and 2.57 (95% CI, 2.09 to 3.15), respectively. In dose-response analyses, long working hours had an approximately linear relationship with hypothyroidism incidence. The risk of incident hypothyroidism in those who worked 53-60 hours and >60 hours per week compared with the reference group was significantly higher among the older age group (≥36 years, stratified by median age), men, and daytime workers.
CONCLUSIONS
This large-scale cohort study demonstrated the association between long working hours and an increased risk of incident hypothyroidism with a dose-response relationship.
Summary
Korean summary
대규모 코호트연구를 통해 장시간노동을 수행한 노동자들에서 갑상선기능저하증의 위험이 높아지는 것을 확인할 수 있었다. 특히 연령, 성, 교대근무 유무에 따라 층화하여 분석한 결과에서 고연령, 남성, 교대근무를 하지 않는 노동자에서 관련성의 크기가 증가하였다.
Key Message
This large-scale cohort study (The Kangbuk Samsung Health Study), which used 45,259 participants without thyroid disease at baseline and estimated hazard ratios (HRs) using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, demonstrated the association between long working hours and an increased risk of incident hypothyroidism with a dose-response relationship especially in older age group, men, and daytime workers.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Association between shift work and the risk of hypothyroidism in adult male workers in Korea: a cohort study
    Seonghyeon Kwon, Yesung Lee, Eunhye Seo, Daehoon Kim, Jaehong Lee, Youshik Jeong, Jihoon Kim, Jinsook Jeong, Woncheol Lee
    Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Smokeless tobacco consumption and its association with tobacco control factors in the Western Pacific Region: results from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2015-2019
Chandrashekhar T. Sreeramareddy, Anusha Manoharan
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022103.   Published online November 8, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022103
  • 2,484 View
  • 90 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We estimated the prevalence of smokeless tobacco (ST) consumption and its associations with tobacco control factors among school-going youth in 18 Western Pacific Region (WPR) countries.
METHODS
We analyzed school-based Global Youth Tobacco Survey (2014-2019) microdata from 18 WPR countries and estimated weighted prevalence rates of ST consumption, cigarette smoking, and dual use. We used multilevel binary logistic regression to examine the associations of ST consumption and dual use with demographic variables, exposure to pro-tobacco and anti-tobacco factors, national income, and MPOWER indicators.
RESULTS
Data from 58,263 school-going youth were analyzed. The prevalence of past 30-day ST consumption was highest in Kiribati (42.1%), the Marshall Islands (26.1%), Micronesia (21.3%), Palau (16.0%), and Papua New Guinea (15.2%). In adjusted multilevel models, ST consumption and dual use were significantly associated with sex, age, parental smoking, pro-tobacco factors, national income, and MPOWER score. For each unit increase in score for cessation programs, we observed approximately 1.4-fold increases in the odds of youth ST consumption (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15 to 1.66) and dual use (aOR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.16 to 1.86). Similarly, for each unit increase in score for health-related warnings, the odds of both ST consumption (aOR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.53) and dual use (aOR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.42) decreased by approximately 60%.
CONCLUSIONS
The prevalence of youth ST consumption was substantial in the Pacific Islands, exceeding that of cigarette smoking in some countries. Implementing MPOWER measures for ST products could help reduce ST consumption.
Summary
Key Message
The prevalence of smokeless tobacco consumption, and cigarette smoking is considerably high among the school going youth in five pacific island nations of Western Pacific Region. Exposure to pro-tobacco factors and parental smoking were positively associated with youth smokeless tobacco consumption as well as dual use (both smokeless tobacco and cigarettes smoking) Closer monitoring and strict tobacco control policies are needed to prevent further escalation of smokeless tobacco consumption.
Changes in eating behaviors according to household income in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: findings from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Hye Ah Lee, Ho Jung Lee, Bomi Park, Yoonhee Shin, Hyunjin Park, Hyesook Park
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022102.   Published online November 9, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022102
  • 3,624 View
  • 128 Download
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
To assess social inequalities in changes in dietary behaviors among adolescents during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we compared changes in dietary behavior indicators by household income.
METHODS
Using cross-sectional data from the 2019 and 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the prevalence of dietary behaviors in adolescents (12-18 years old) was estimated and changes in dietary behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic were evaluated. We assessed changes in dietary behaviors with a household income (as a measure of socioeconomic status, SES) disparity.
RESULTS
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the average consumption of vegetables decreased and food insecurity worsened. Adolescents were more likely to skip breakfast than before COVID-19 (33.1 and 37.4%). Soft drink consumption also increased in 2020 from 2019 (7.6 and 14.8%), especially among boys. Average sugar intake and sodium intake showed a tendency to decrease only in girls, but there was no significant difference according to SES level. Skipping breakfast was particularly evident in the low-SES group, and the difference according to household income level (high vs. low) was greater during COVID-19 than before. The prevalence of soft drink consumption increased significantly in the low-SES group, but the rate of increase did not differ by SES level.
CONCLUSIONS
We found that the social disparity in skipping breakfast was further aggravated during the COVID-19 pandemic. To reach a better understanding of the dietary behaviors of adolescents, continuous monitoring is necessary.
Summary
Korean summary
국민건강영양조사 자료를 활용하여, COVID-19 팬데믹 전후 청소년의 식생활 변화 및 가구소득 수준에 따른 차이를 평가하였다. 대체로, 평균 채소 섭취량은 감소하고 탄산음료 소비는 증가한 것으로 나타났으며, 아침식사 결식율도 약간 증가한 것으로 나타났다. 게다가, 가구소득 수준에 따라 평가하였을 때, 아침식사 결식율 증가는 가구소득이 높은 군에 비해 가구소득 수준이 낮은 군에서 두드러진 것으로 나타났다. COVID-19 팬데믹이 장기화됨에 따라, 청소년의 식생활 변화에 대해서는 지속적인 모니터링이 필요하다.
Key Message
Using data from the 2019 and 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, changes in dietary behaviors of adolescents (12-18 years old) during the COVID-19 pandemic were evaluated. During the COVID-19 pandemic, average consumption of vegetables decreased and consumption of soft drinks increased in 2020 from 2019 (7.6% and 14.8%). In addition, the social disparity in skipping breakfast among adolescents was further aggravated. To reach a better understanding of the dietary behaviors of adolescents, continuous monitoring is necessary.

Citations

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  • Analysis of health behavior, mental health, and nutritional status among Korean adolescents before and after COVID-19 outbreak: based on the 2019–2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
    Misun Lee, Sarang Jeong, Chong-Su Kim, Yoon Jung Yang
    Journal of Nutrition and Health.2023; 56(6): 667.     CrossRef
Changes in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Korean adults after the COVID-19 outbreak
Ji-Young Kwon, Sang-Wook Song
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022101.   Published online November 5, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022101
  • 2,817 View
  • 90 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study sought to reveal changes in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) after the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to identify the groups showing the greatest changes.
METHODS
We compared the prevalence of MetS between 2017–2019 (i.e., the 3-year period before the COVID-19 pandemic) and soon after the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 among 24,564 adults ≥ 19 years of age using data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
RESULTS
The prevalence of MetS increased steadily between 2017 and 2020 (29.4 to 35.3%, p for trend < 0.001), with annual percent changes of 2.0%p, 2.2%p, and 1.7%p, respectively. Compared to 3 years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of MetS significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in males (6.2%p; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.5 to 8.9) compared to females (1.5%p; 95% CI, -1.2 to 4.1). The age groups with the greatest increases in MetS prevalence after the COVID-19 pandemic were those in their 40s (4.6%p; 95% CI, 0.9 to 8.4) and 50s (5.8%p; 95% CI, 2.2 to 9.4). By educational background, the increase in MetS prevalence was greatest among those with a college degree or higher (5.1%p). The prevalence of MetS in high-income (5.3%p) and low-income (4.6%p) groups significantly increased.
CONCLUSIONS
The increasing trend in the overall prevalence of MetS continued during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the prevalence of MetS among adult males in their 40s and 50s increased significantly after the COVID-19 outbreak in Korea.
Summary

Citations

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  • Increasing incidence and prevalence of metabolic syndrome in people living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Rebecka Papaioannu Borjesson, Laura Galli, Camilla Muccini, Andrea Poli, Tommaso Clemente, Martina Bottanelli, Nicola Gianotti, Silvia Nozza, Antonella Castagna, Vincenzo Spagnuolo
    Frontiers in Medicine.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Maternal pre-pregnancy anemia and childhood anemia in Indonesia: a risk assessment using a population-based prospective longitudinal study
Fadila Wirawan, Dieta Nurrika
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022100.   Published online November 1, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022100
  • 4,509 View
  • 227 Download
  • 4 Web of Science
  • 4 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Anemia in children under 5 years of age is often overlooked despite its detrimental effects. The public health approach to anemia prevention includes the maternal pre-pregnancy phase. This study investigated the association between pre-pregnancy anemia and the risk of anemia in children under 5 years of age.
METHODS
This cohort study included non-pregnant women from the 2007 Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) and their children under 5 in the 2014 IFLS. The anemia status of mothers and children was determined based on hemoglobin (Hb) levels using Hemocue. Mantel-Haenszel adjusted relative risks (aRRs), including risk stratification by covariates, were used for the final risk assessment.
RESULTS
In total, 637 children in the 2014 IFLS were included. The risk of having a child with anemia was 1.71-fold higher in women with pre-pregnancy anemia than in women without pre-pregnancy anemia (aRR, 1.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03 to 2.85). After risk stratification based on potential confounding variables, maternal pre-pregnancy anemia remained an independent risk factor for anemia in children who still breastfed at the time of data collection (relative risk [RR], 2.11; 95% CI, 1.16 to 3.86), in children who were given water earlier than 6 months of age (RR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.20 to 3.61), in children of mothers with a normal or underweight pre-pregnancy body mass index (RR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.20 to 3.14), and in children of mothers without current anemia (RR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.21 to 3.99).
CONCLUSIONS
Pre-pregnancy anemia increased the risk of childhood anemia. A public health approach emphasizing pre-conception maternal health would enable better maternal and child morbidity risk prevention.
Summary
Key Message
Pre-pregnancy anemia increased the risk of childhood anemia by 1.7 times compared to without pre-pregnancy anemia, and increased when the child was still breastfed, given water before 6 months of age, and the mother had a normal or underweight pre-pregnancy BMI, regardless of the mother’s current no anemia status.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Identification and treatment of iron‐deficiency anemia in pregnancy and postpartum: A systematic review and quality appraisal of guidelines using AGREE II
    Victoria Mintsopoulos, Evan Tannenbaum, A. Kinga Malinowski, Nadine Shehata, Melissa Walker
    International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Prevalence and risk factors of anemia in the mother–child population from a region of the Colombian Caribbean
    Lisetta Del Castillo, Nora Cardona-Castro, Denis R. Whelan, John Paul Builes, Héctor Serrano-Coll, Margarita Arboleda, Juan S. Leon
    BMC Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women
    L. D. Belotserkovtseva, L. V. Kovalenko, V. N. Zinin, S. E. Ivannikov, M. R. Keldasova
    Ural Medical Journal.2023; 22(5): 140.     CrossRef
  • Safety monitoring of oral iron supplements in pregnant women with anemia: a multi-center observational clinical study
    Chang Liu, Qianqian Zhang, Peiye Hui, Yan Wang, Guohui Li, Guangchao Cao, Zicheng Xue, Jing Zhang, Heng Zhang, Xin Huang, Jiyong Wu, Fusehng Sun, Meixing Yan
    Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health