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Original Article A study on the epidemiologic trends of reported major-communicable disease in Korea
Sie Baek Han, Joung Soon Kim
Epidemiol Health 1987;9(2):236-263
DOI: https://doi.org/
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In Korea several changes have occured in patterns of health and disease due to improved economic situation, living standard and medical technology. The objective of this study is to understand the changing patterns of the major communicable diseases in Korea during last several decades. The trends of incidence and mortality and the changing patterns of epidemiologic characteristics of the major communicable diseases, which occured in Korea during the period from 1910 to 1986 were studied by reviewing reported cases to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. Some important features obtatined are as follows. 1) The trends of incidence and mortality of reported communicable diseases showed gradual increase until 1950’s. After the great epidemic occured in pre and post-Korean War period at the boundary of 1950’s, it showed a sudden decrease and remained at a certain level by 1960's. There has been further decrease in 1970’s & 1980's. Fatality rate has remakably dropped since the introduction of antibiotics. 2) The age group which used to show the highest incidence rate for water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever has been changed to older age group by year. Age specific incidence rates of diphtheria and Japanese B. encephalitis were higher among younger ages between 0 and 14 years but the differences among age groups are getting smaller by year. 3) The differences of incidence between male and female, and among age groups were considered to be determined by chance of exposure but not by susceptibility. 4) In seasonal variation of water-borne communicable diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, dysentery and Japanese B. encephalitis and poliomyelitis, the occurences were higher during summer compared with other seasons, wheares the occurences of respiratory communicable diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough, measles were higher in winter and spring. Seasonal fluctuation, however, became less prominent in 1980’s than the past decades. 5) Geographical distribution of water-borne communicable diseases (cholera, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, dysentery etc.) and respiratory communicable diseases (diphtheria, whooping cough, measles etc.) showed that metropolitan cities such as Seoul and Busan had higher incidence and fatality rates than other smaller cities or towns.


Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health