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COVID-19: Original Article
Influence of practice location on prescribing, diabetes care, and colorectal cancer screening among Czech general practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic
Jan Bělobrádek, Luděk Šídlo, Tom Philipp
Epidemiol Health. 2024;46:e2024033.   Published online February 23, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2024033
  • 2,149 View
  • 73 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The provision of primary health care was not interrupted during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Czechia, although the capacity and resources of providers changed. We examined how the pandemic affected individual general practices throughout 2017-2021, focusing on differences between urban and rural practices.
METHODS
We analysed data from the largest health insurance company in Czechia, which provides care to 4.5 million people (60% of the population). We evaluated the prescription volume, diabetes care procedures, and faecal immunochemical test (FIT) in preventive care and new pandemic-related procedures (remote consultations, testing, and vaccinations). For the spatial distribution of practices, we adapted the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development typology.
RESULTS
We observed minimal declines in 2020 in the rate of prescribing (-1.0%) and diabetes care (-5.1%), with a rapid resumption in 2021, but a substantial decline in FIT (-17.8% in 2020) with slow resumption. Remote consultations were used by 94% of all practices regardless of location, with testing and vaccinations more commonly performed by rural general practitioners (GPs).
CONCLUSIONS
Primary care in Czechia rose to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, as shown by the finding that the volume of healthcare services provided through primary care did not decrease across most of the monitored parameters. This study also confirmed that rural GPs provide more care in-house, both in terms of prescribing and procedures performed in their practices. Future studies will need to focus on preventive care, which the pandemic has dampened in GP practices in Czechia.
Summary
Key Message
Primary care in Czechia has effectively adapted to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Minimal impact was observed in prescribtions and diabetic patient care. There was a significant decline in colorectal cancer screening, with a slow restitution after the pandemic subsided. Rural GPs consistently provided in-house treatment and have higher shares of both prescribing and diabetes care, as well as performing more COVID-19 specific procedures.
Original Article
Socioeconomic inequality in organized and opportunistic screening for colorectal cancer: results from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey, 2009-2021
Xuan Quy Luu, Kyeongmin Lee, Jae Kwan Jun, Mina Suh, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023086.   Published online September 17, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023086
  • 5,597 View
  • 140 Download
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to investigate socioeconomic status (SES)-based inequality in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in Korea. We assessed whether the rates of opportunistic and organized CRC screening differed according to income and education levels.
METHODS
We analyzed data from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey of 27,654 cancer-free individuals, aged 50-74 years, from 2009 to 2021. The weighted cancer screening rates with trends were estimated with the average annual percentage change using joinpoint regression. Inequality was calculated in both relative and absolute terms, based on a Poisson regression model.
RESULTS
The organized screening rate increased significantly from 22.1% in 2009 to 53.1% in 2020 and 50.6% in 2021, with an average annual change of 8.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.9 to 12.5). In contrast, no significant trend was observed for opportunistic screening. The SES inequality in opportunistic screening uptake was indicated by a slope index of inequality (SII) of 9.74% (95% CI, 6.36 to 13.12), relative index of inequality (RII) of 2.18 (95% CI, 1.75 to 2.70) in terms of education level; and an SII of 7.03% (95% CI, 4.09 to 9.98), RII of 1.81 (95% CI, 1.41 to 2.31) in terms of measured income. Although there was an increasing trend in income inequality, no significant SES inequalities were observed in the overall estimates for organized screening.
CONCLUSIONS
Organized CRC screening is effective in improving the participation rate, regardless of SES. However, significant inequalities were found in opportunistic screening, suggesting room for improvement in the overall equity of CRC screening.
Summary
Korean summary
이번 연구는 한국의 대장암 검진에서 사회경제적 수준에 따른 불평등이 있는지를 분석했다. 국가암검진사업 도입 이래로 2009-2021년 연구기간 동안 공공검진을 통한 대장암 수검률은 지속적으로 증가한 반면, 개인검진의 증가는 관찰되지 않았다. 특히 공공 검진의 경우 소득이나 교육수준에 따른 수검률에 차이는 없는 반면, 개인검진에서는 상당한불평등이 관찰되었다.
Key Message
"The study investigated socioeconomic status (SES)-based inequality in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in Korea. We found that the introduction of the National Cancer Screening Program for CRC effectively increased the participation rate, regardless of the SES of the individuals throughout the study period. However, significant inequalities were observed in opportunistic screening related to education and income."

Citations

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  • Disparities in Cancer Incidence across Income Levels in South Korea
    Su-Min Jeong, Kyu-Won Jung, Juwon Park, Nayeon Kim, Dong Wook Shin, Mina Suh
    Cancers.2023; 15(24): 5898.     CrossRef
Cohort Profile
Integrated database-based Screening Cohort for Asian Nomadic descendants in China (Scan-China): Insights on prospective ethnicity-focused cancer screening
Yuelin Yu, Liying Qiao, Jing Han, Weiwei Wang, Weiwei Kang, Yunjing Zhang, Shu Shang, Ruogu Meng, Lin Zhuo, Siyan Zhan, Yunfeng Xi, Shengfeng Wang
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023048.   Published online April 18, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023048
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  • 85 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
Established in 2017, the Screening Cohort for Asian Nomadic descendants in China (Scan-China) has benefited over 180,000 members of a multi-ethnic population, particularly individuals of Mongolian descent compared with the general population (Han ethnicity), in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. This cohort study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of cancer screening and serve as a real-world data platform for cancer studies. The 6 most prevalent cancers in China are considered—namely, breast, lung, colorectal, gastric, liver and esophageal cancer. After baseline cancer risk assessments and screening tests, both active and passive follow-up (based on the healthcare insurance database, cancer registry, the front page of hospital medical records, and death certificates) will be conducted to trace participants’ onset and progression of cancers and other prevalent chronic diseases. Scan-China has preliminarily found a disproportionately lower screening participation rate and higher incidence/mortality rates of esophageal and breast cancer among the Mongolian population than among their Han counterparts. Further research will explore the cancer burden, natural history, treatment patterns, and risk factors of the target cancers.
Summary
Key Message
- Scan-China is the first and largest electronic health data (EHD)-integrated cancer screening program for the Mongolian ethnicity in Inner Mongolia. - Scan-China aims to evaluate the effectiveness of screening interventions, particularly on ethnic minorities, portray the natural history, explore risk factors and summarize treatment patterns and updated outcomes of prevalent tumors/other chronic diseases. - Scan-China database comprises baseline cancer risk assessment, screening tests results, active follow-up investigation for participants at high risk and EHD-integrated passive follow-up. Data sources for passive follow-up include healthcare insurance database, cancer registry, front page of hospital medical record and death certificates.
Original Articles
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
  • 4,196 View
  • 153 Download
  • 3 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
Effect of mammography screening on the long-term survival of breast cancer patients: results from the National Cancer Screening Program in Korea
Xuan Quy Luu, Kyeongmin Lee, Jae Kwan Jun, Mina Suh, Kyu-Won Jung, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022094.   Published online October 26, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022094
  • 4,330 View
  • 170 Download
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study investigated the effect of mammography screening on the long-term survival of breast cancer (BC) patients aged 40 years or older according to their screening history and duration since screening.
METHODS
The study cohort was organized from 3 nationwide databases of the Korean National Cancer Screening Program, the Korean Central Cancer Registry, and death certificates. We included 24,387 women diagnosed with invasive BC or ductal carcinoma in situ in 2008 and 2009 and followed up until December 31, 2019. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to investigate the effect of BC screening on the risk of death.
RESULTS
Overall, 20,916 of 24,387 patients (85.8%) were alive at the end of the follow-up period (median: 10.5 years). The long-term survival rate was significantly lower in the never-screened group (80.3%) than in the screened group (88.9%) (p<0.001). A 35% reduction in the risk of BC death (hazard ratio [HR], 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60 to 0.70) from screening was observed. A subgroup analysis according to the cancer stage showed 62%, 36%, and 24% lower risks of BC death for the localized stage, regional stage, and distant stage, respectively. Women aged 40-49 years received the least benefit from BC screening (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.81).
CONCLUSIONS
Mammography screening was effective in reducing the risk of BC-specific death in Asian women across all cancer stages. However, this effect was relatively small among women in their 40s, suggesting that more detailed and specialized screening strategies are needed for that age group.
Summary
Effect of Pap smears on the long-term survival of cervical cancer patients: a nationwide population-based cohort study in Korea
Xuan Quy Luu, Kyeongmin Lee, Jae Kwan Jun, Mina Suh, kyu-won Jung, Myong Cheol Lim, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022072.   Published online September 7, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022072
  • 4,581 View
  • 105 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to investigate the effect of cervical cancer screening by Papanicolaou (Pap) smears on the long-term survival of cervical cancer patients.
METHODS
We constructed a retrospective cohort of 14,903 women diagnosed with invasive cancer or carcinoma in situ in 2008 and 2009 and followed up until December 31, 2019, by using individual-level data from 3 national databases of the Korean National Cancer Screening Program, the Korean Central Cancer Registry, and death certificates. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to investigate the effect of cervical cancer screening on mortality.
RESULTS
In total, 12,987 out of 14,867 patients (87.4%) were alive at the end of the follow-up period (median: 10.5 years). Screened patients had a 38% lower risk of cervical cancer death than never-screened patients (hazard ratio [HR], 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54 to 0.70). Screening was associated with 59% and 35% lower risks of death, respectively, in screened patients with localized and regional stages. Furthermore, lower HRs among women who received screening were observed in all age groups, especially women aged 50–59 years (HR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.69). The lowest HR for cervical cancer death was reported among patients screened within the past 2 years (HR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.63), and the HRs increased with increasing time intervals.
CONCLUSIONS
Pap smear screening significantly reduced the risk of cervical cancer-specific death in Korean women across all cancer stages.
Summary
Korean summary
한국은 자궁경부암 발생과 사망을 낮추기 위하여 국가암검진사업으로 자궁경부암 검진을 실시하고 있다. 이 연구는 2008-2009년 자궁경부암 진단을 받은 30세-79세 14,903명을 대상으로 과거 자궁경부세포검진 여부에 따른 장기생존율을 추적 조사하였다. 그 결과 자궁경부암 검진을 받은 환자에서 사망 위험비가 약 38% 낮았으며, 2년 이내에 검진을 받은 환자군에서 사망 위험이 가장 낮았다.
Key Message
The Korean National Cancer Screening Program (KNCSP) has provided cervical cancer screening by Pap smear test. However, the survival, particularly long-term survival of cervical cancer patients, has never been evaluated in the KNCSP. This study reports a significant improvement in the long-term survival of screened cervical cancer patients, which persist in subgroup analysis by cancer stage. Patients who were screened within two years before the diagnosis had the best survival.
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
  • 12,496 View
  • 453 Download
  • 15 Web of Science
  • 16 Crossref
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  
  • Emergency department visits of newly diagnosed cardiovascular disease patients in Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Ji Yoon Baek, Seung Hee Seo, Sooyoung Cho, Jun-Bean Park, Bhumsuk Keam, Shin Hye Yoo, Aesun Shin
    Scientific Reports.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Decline in Cancer Diagnoses during the ‘Zero COVID’ Policy in Hong Kong: Indirect Spillover Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
    H.M. Youn, Y. Zhang, A. Liu, C.S. Ng, J. Liang, G.K.K. Lau, S.F. Lee, J. Lok, C.L.K. Lam, E.Y.F. Wan, J. Quan
    Clinical Oncology.2024; 36(3): 157.     CrossRef
  • Impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on cancer care: How the pandemic has changed cancer utilization and expenditures
    Jinah Sim, Jihye Shin, Hyun Jeong Lee, Yeonseung Lee, Young Ae Kim, Chong-Chi Chiu
    PLOS ONE.2024; 19(2): e0296808.     CrossRef
  • Access to colorectal cancer screening in populations in China, 2020: A coverage‐focused synthesis analysis
    Yan‐Jie Li, Xin Wang, Yu‐Jie Wu, Xin‐Yi Zhou, Jibin Li, Jiangmei Qin, Wanghong Xu, Jie‐Bin Lew, Wanqing Chen, Ju‐Fang Shi
    International Journal of Cancer.2024; 155(3): 558.     CrossRef
  • Delayed treatment in breast cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic: a population health information research infrastructure (PHIRI) case study
    Francisco Estupiñán-Romero, Santiago Royo-Sierra, Javier González-Galindo, Natalia Martínez-Lizaga, Petronille Bogaert, Nienke Schutte, Liesbet Van Eycken, Nancy Van Damme, Kris Henau, Ronan A Lyons, Sarah J Aldridge, Andrea Faragalli, Flavia Carle, Rosar
    European Journal of Public Health.2024; 34(Supplement): i50.     CrossRef
  • Analysis of the current situation and related influencing factors of cervical precancer screening under the COVID-19
    Xiaohong Song, Yongbin Yang
    Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews.2023; : 1.     CrossRef
  • Willingness to Undergo Gastroscopy for Early Gastric Cancer Screening and Its Associated Factors During the COVID-19 Pandemic – A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study in China
    Kejia Ma, Xuejie Chen, Xin Xiang, Xueyi Mao, Ningxin Zhu, Tianyu Wang, Shuyu Ye, Xiaoyan Wang, Minzi Deng
    Patient Preference and Adherence.2023; Volume 17: 505.     CrossRef
  • Impact of coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on breast cancer surgery using the National Database of Japan
    Misuzu Fujita, Hideyuki Hashimoto, Kengo Nagashima, Kiminori Suzuki, Tokuzo Kasai, Kazuya Yamaguchi, Yoshihiro Onouchi, Daisuke Sato, Takehiko Fujisawa, Akira Hata
    Scientific Reports.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal cancers
    Byung Soo Yoo, Ankit Patel, Kevin V. Houston, Alejandra Vargas, Ana Rosa Vilela Sangay, Steve M. D’Souza, David A. Johnson
    Exploration of Medicine.2023; : 356.     CrossRef
  • Changes in the Utilization of Health Care Services by Cancer Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Seung Hee Seo, Sooyoung Cho, Shin Hye Yoo, Bhumsuk Keam, Aesun Shin
    Yonsei Medical Journal.2023; 64(7): 463.     CrossRef
  • The Challenges of Gastric Cancer Surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Catalin Vladut Ionut Feier, Alaviana Monique Faur, Calin Muntean, Andiana Blidari, Oana Elena Contes, Diana Raluca Streinu, Sorin Olariu
    Healthcare.2023; 11(13): 1903.     CrossRef
  • Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 on Gastric Cancer Diagnosis and Stage: A Single-Institute Study in South Korea
    Moonki Hong, Mingee Choi, JiHyun Lee, Kyoo Hyun Kim, Hyunwook Kim, Choong-Kun Lee, Hyo Song Kim, Sun Young Rha, Gyu Young Pih, Yoon Jin Choi, Da Hyun Jung, Jun Chul Park, Sung Kwan Shin, Sang Kil Lee, Yong Chan Lee, Minah Cho, Yoo Min Kim, Hyoung-Il Kim,
    Journal of Gastric Cancer.2023; 23(4): 574.     CrossRef
  • Socioeconomic inequality in organized and opportunistic screening for gastric cancer: results from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey 2009–2022
    Xuan Quy Luu, Kyeongmin Lee, Jae Kwan Jun, Mina Suh, Kui Son Choi
    Frontiers in Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • 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
  • 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
    Epidemiology and Health.2022; 44: e2022111.     CrossRef
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
  • 8,810 View
  • 370 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
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.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Mining Google Trends data for nowcasting and forecasting colorectal cancer (CRC) prevalence
    Cristiana Tudor, Robert Aurelian Sova
    PeerJ Computer Science.2023; 9: e1518.     CrossRef
The classification capability of the Asia Pacific Colorectal Screening score in Korea: an analysis of the Cancer Screenee Cohort
Xuan Quy Luu, Kyeongmin Lee, Jeongseon Kim, Dae Kyung Sohn, Aesun Shin, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021069.   Published online September 16, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021069
  • 8,945 View
  • 218 Download
  • 5 Web of Science
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to validate a simple risk assessment tool for estimating the advanced colorectal neoplasia (ACN) risk at colonoscopy screenings and potential factors relevant for implementing this tool in the Korean population.
METHODS
Our study analyzed data from the Cancer Screenee Cohort Study conducted by the National Cancer Center in Korea. The risk level was assessed using the Asia Pacific Colorectal Screening (APCS) score developed by the Asia-Pacific Working Group on Colorectal Cancer. Logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between colorectal-related outcomes and the risk level by APCS score. The discriminatory performance of the APCS score for various colorectal-related outcomes was assessed using C-statistics.
RESULTS
In 12,520 individuals, 317 ACN cases and 4,528 adenoma cases were found. The APCS tool successfully classified the study population into different risk groups, and significant differences in the ACN rate and other outcomes were observed. The APCS score demonstrated acceptable discrimination capability with area under the curve values ranging from 0.62 to 0.65 for various outcomes. The results of the multivariate logistic regression model revealed that the high-risk group had a 3.1-fold higher risk of ACN (95% confidence interval, 2.08 to 4.67) than the average-risk group. Body mass index (BMI) was identified as a significant predictor of ACN in both multivariate and subgroup analyses.
CONCLUSIONS
Our study highlighted significant differences in colorectal-related screening outcomes by colorectal risk level measured using the APCS score, and BMI could be used to improve the discriminatory capability of the APCS score.
Summary
Korean summary
검진의 위해성을 줄이면서 동시에 이득을 최대화할 수 있는 최적의 검진 프로그램은 암 발생 위험도를 고려하는 것이다. 이 연구는 Asia-Pacific Working Group on Colorectal Cancer에서 제안한 “Asia Pacific Colorectal Screening Score (APCS)”가 한국인에서 대장암 발생 위험도를 선별적으로 잘 구분해 낼 수 있음을 보여주었다. 나아가 대장암의 위험도 점수를 산출하는데 체질량지수가 중요한 예측 변수라는 것을 확인하였고, 한국인에서 대장암 발생 위험도의 변별력을 향상시키기 위해 기존의 APCS에 체질량지수를 추가할 것을 제안하였다.
Key Message
This study highlighted that the Asia Pacific Colorectal Screening Score by the Asia-Pacific Working Group on Colorectal Cancer could successfully classify Korean screenees into different risk groups with acceptable discriminatory capability. Furthermore, our study results also suggest that BMI is a significant predictor of colorectal-related health outcomes, which could be potentially added to the original APCS score for improving its discriminatory power.

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Editorial
Current status of hepatitis C virus infection and countermeasures in South Korea
Sook-Hyang Jeong, Eun Sun Jang, Hwa Young Choi, Kyung-Ah Kim, Wankyo Chung, Moran Ki
Epidemiol Health. 2017;39:e2017017.   Published online April 13, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2017017
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related mortality. The new antiviral drugs against HCV, direct acting antivirals, result in >90% cure rate. This review aimed to summarize the current prevalence, clinical characteristics, outcomes, and treatment response associated with HCV infection, and countermeasures for optimal HCV control in South Korea. Based on a literature review, the current anti-HCV prevalence in the Korean population is 0.6 to 0.8%, with increasing prevalence according to age. The major HCV genotypes in Korean patients were genotype 1b and genotype 2. Successful antiviral treatment leads to significantly reduced liver related complications and mortality. However, only about one third of the individuals with HCV infection seem to be managed under the current national health insurance system, suggesting a remarkable rate of underdiagnoses and subsequent loss of opportunity to cure. A recent study in South Korea showed that targeted population screening for HCV infection is cost-effective. To prevent recently developed clusters of HCV infection in some clinics, mandatory surveillance rather than sentinel surveillance for HCV infection is required and governmental countermeasures to prevent reuse of syringes or other medical devises, and public education should be maintained. Moreover, one-time screening for a targeted population should be considered and a cost-effectiveness study supporting an optimal screening strategy is warranted.
Summary
Korean summary
우리나라 C형간염 유병률은 1% 미만(0.6-0.8%)이며, 수혈에 의한 C형간염은 더 이상 발생하지 않을 것으로 보인다. 그러나 최근 의료기관에서 C형간염 집단감염이 발생하여 국가적 대응이 필요한 공중보건의 문제로 떠올랐다. 2016년 부터는 C형간염을 완치할 수 있는 효과적이고 안전한 약제가 건강보험급여로 인정되어 이미 진단된 환자들에서는 효과적인 치료가 시작되었다. 그러나 진단되지 않은 상태에서 간질환이 진행되고 있는 환자들을 발굴하기 위해 국가 검진체계와 연계하여 선별검사를 시행한다면, 단기적으로는 진단과 치료비용 부담이 커지겠지만 장기적으로 사망률을 감소시키고, 삶의 질을 높이는 비용효과적인 C형간염 퇴치 전략이 될 것이다.

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Review
The criteria for metabolic syndrome and the national health screening and education system in Japan
Kazumasa Yamagishi, Hiroyasu Iso
Epidemiol Health. 2017;39:e2017003.   Published online January 6, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2017003
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
Two major definitions of metabolic syndrome have been proposed. One focuses on the accumulation of risk factors, a measure used by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); the other focuses on abdominal obesity, a measure used by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Japanese government. The latter definition takes waist circumference (WC) into consideration as an obligatory component, whereas the former does not. In 2009, the IDF, NHLBI, AHA, and other organizations attempted to unify these criteria; as a result, WC is no longer an obligatory component of those systems, while it remains obligatory in the Japanese criteria. In 2008, a new Japanese cardiovascular screening and education system focused on metabolic syndrome was launched. People undergoing screening are classified into three groups according to the presence of abdominal obesity and the number of metabolic risk factors, and receive health educational support from insurers. This system has yielded several beneficial outcomes: the visibility of metabolic syndrome at the population level has drastically improved; preventive measures have been directed toward metabolic syndrome, which is expected to become more prevalent in future generations; and a post-screening education system has been established. However, several problems with the current system have been identified and are under debate. In this review, we discuss topics related to metabolic syndrome, including (1) the Japanese criteria for metabolic syndrome; (2) metabolic syndrome and the universal health screening and education system; and (3) recent debates about Japanese criteria for metabolic syndrome.
Summary

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Original Article
Community mental health status six months after the Sewol ferry disaster in Ansan, Korea
Hee Jung Yang, Hae Kwan Cheong, Bo Youl Choi, Min-Ho Shin, Hyeon Woo Yim, Dong-Hyun Kim, Gawon Kim, Soon Young Lee
Epidemiol Health. 2015;37:e2015046.   Published online October 23, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih/e2015046
  • 19,219 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The disaster of the Sewol ferry that sank at sea off Korea’s southern coast of the Yellow Sea on April 16, 2014 was a tragedy that brought grief and despair to the whole country. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mental health effects of this disaster on the community of Ansan, where most victims and survivors resided.
METHODS
The self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted 4 to 6 months after the accident using the Korean Community Health Survey system, an annual nationwide cross-sectional survey. Subjects were 7,076 adults (≥19 years) living in two victimized communities in Ansan, four control communities from Gyeonggi-do, Jindo and Haenam near the accident site. Depression, stress, somatic symptoms, anxiety, and suicidal ideation were measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale, Brief Encounter Psychosocial Instrument, Patient Health Questionnaire-15, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale, respectively.
RESULTS
The depression rate among the respondents from Ansan was 11.8%, and 18.4% reported suicidal ideation. Prevalence of other psychiatric disturbances was also higher compared with the other areas. A multiple logistic regression analysis revealed significantly higher odds ratios (ORs) in depression (1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36 to 2.04), stress (1.37; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.71), somatic symptoms (1.31; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.58), anxiety (1.82; 95% CI, 1.39 to 2.39), and suicidal ideation (1.33; 95% CI, 1.13 to 1.56) compared with Gyeonggi-do. In contrast, the accident areas of Jindo and Haenam showed the lowest prevalence and ORs.
CONCLUSIONS
Residents in the victimized area of Ansan had a significantly higher prevalence of psychiatric disturbances than in the control communities.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 2014년 4월 16일 발생한 세월호 침몰 사고가 지역사회의 정신건강 수준에 미친 영향을 평가하기 위해 실시하였다. 2014년 지역사회건강조사를 활용, 사고 후 6개월 시점에 조사를 시행하였다. 대부분의 희생자가 발생한 안산시 대상자의 11.8%가 우울군으로 분류되었으며, 18.4%가 자살생각을 호소하였고, 그 밖의 유병률도 대조 지역에 비해 높았다.

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Epidemiol Health. 2015;37:e2015038.   Published online August 17, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih/e2015038
  • 23,038 View
  • 314 Download
  • 19 Web of Science
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
Colorectal cancer has a high worldwide incidence. Japan, a country that is geographically and culturally similar to the Republic of Korea (here after Korea), has recently reported a decreasing trend in the incidence of colorectal cancer. However, Korea had the highest incidence of colorectal cancer among Asian countries in 2012. Our aim was to observe the changing trends in incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer in Korea and to compare them to those in Japan. Incidence data were collected from the Korean Central Cancer Registry and mortality data were collected from Korean Statistical Information Service. Incidence and mortality data on colorectal cancer in Japan were acquired from the National Cancer Center in Japan. Age-standardized incidence and mortality rates were determined based on Segi’s world population. Screening data from both countries were collected from the national cancer center in each country. In Korea, the age-standardized incidence rate of colorectal cancer in both sexes was 20.9 to 38.0 per 100,000 from 1999 to 2012 and the rate in males increased more dramatically than in females. In addition, the increase between 2002 and 2012 was first observed in the age group over 40. In Japan, the incidence of colorectal cancer has been more constant over recent years than in Korea. The age-standardized mortality rate of colorectal cancer in both sexes in Korea was 8.5 to 9.3 per 100,000 from 2000 to 2013, and the trend in mortality was constant during this period. In Japan, the mortality rate decreased slightly during the same period. Crude screening rates were increased overall in both Korea and Japan during the period studied. Since the incidence of colorectal cancer has increased in Korea, the control of this cancer is an important public health issue. As Japan has achieved a reduction in colorectal cancer, adjustment of Korea’s current systems for screening and treatment of colorectal cancer according to those of Japan may contribute to improved colorectal cancer control in Korea.
Summary
Korean summary
우리나라와 지리적, 문화적으로 가까운 일본은 대장암 발생 및 사망이 감소하고 있는 반면, 한국의 대장암 발생은 증가하는 추세이다. 본 연구는 한국의 대장암 발생 및 사망의 경향을 관찰하고, 이를 일본의 경우와 비교하고자 한다

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Brief Communication
Epidemiological evidences on overdiagnosis of prostate and kidney cancers in Korean
Jong-Myon Bae
Epidemiol Health. 2015;37:e2015015.   Published online March 7, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih/e2015015
  • 19,070 View
  • 164 Download
  • 7 Web of Science
  • 10 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The prostate specific antigen test is widely used as the main method of screening prostate cancer in Korea. Additionally, the use of ultrasound sonography may lead to overdiagnosis of kidney cancer as well as thyroid cancer. This study aimed to highlight epidemiological evidences regarding overdiagnosis of prostate and kidney cancers in Korean.
METHODS
The annual trends of national incidence and mortality of prostate and kidney cancers provided by the Korean Statistical Information Service were evaluated.
RESULTS
The rate of increase in the incidence of prostate and kidney cancer was 6 and 5 times higher than that of mortality between 2000 and 2011, respectively. Additionally, the age group showing the highest incidence in prostate cancer shifted from 85 years and older to 75-79 years.
CONCLUSIONS
This evidence suggests that prostate and kidney cancers are overdiagnosed in Korea. Further research in this area, using national cancer registry databases, should be encouraged to prevent overdiagnosis.
Summary
Korean summary
갑상선암의 과진단은 목초음파검사의 시행에 따른 것이란 주장에 따라, 전립선암과 신장암은 각각 전립선특이항원검사와 복부초음파검사의 시행에 따라 과진단이 있을 것으로 예상된다. 과진단의 여부는 검사 시행 이후 발생률이 증가하는 반면, 사망률은 변동이 없는 것으로 판단할 수 있다. 통계청의 해당 암 발생률과 사망률 추이를 살펴볼 때, 국내에서도 전립선암과 신장암에서 과진단이 있음을 확인할 수 있었다.

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Methods
Overdiagnosis: epidemiologic concepts and estimation
Jong-Myon Bae
Epidemiol Health. 2015;37:e2015004.   Published online February 10, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih/e2015004
  • 24,078 View
  • 240 Download
  • 16 Web of Science
  • 17 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
Overdiagnosis of thyroid cancer was propounded regarding the rapidly increasing incidence in South Korea. Overdiagnosis is defined as ‘the detection of cancers that would never have been found were it not for the screening test’, and may be an extreme form of lead bias due to indolent cancers, as is inevitable when conducting a cancer screening programme. Because it is solely an epidemiological concept, it can be estimated indirectly by phenomena such as a lack of compensatory drop in post-screening periods, or discrepancies between incidence and mortality. The erstwhile trials for quantifying the overdiagnosis in screening mammography were reviewed in order to secure the data needed to establish its prevalence in South Korea.
Summary
Korean summary
최근 갑상선암의 발생 증가는 과진단에 기인한 것이란 주장이 제기되었다. 과진단은 ‘평생동안 몰랐을 암을 검진으로 알아낸 경우’로 정의하는 바, 예상보다 늦은 진행으로 예후가 더 좋고 치료를 안해도 사망률 변동을 만들지 못하는 암에 대하여 반복되는 암검진에 더 잘 진단되는 기간차이 바이어스가 개입되는 것을 제대로 통제하지 못해서 생긴 것이다. 검진을 더 이상 하지 않았을 경우 발생률이 본래대로 되돌아오지 않는 현상을 보이거나, 사망률과 발생률 간의 변동에서 큰 차이를 보일 때 과진단이 있다고 판단한다. 국내에서 발생하는 과진단의 크기를 측정하기 위한 방법들을 알아보기 위하여, 기존의 유방암 조기검진용 유방촬영술에 대한 과진단 크기를 알아낸 연구방법들을 살펴보았다.

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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health