Korean J Phys Anthropol.  2003 Dec;16(4):205-211.

Database Linkage Study on the Demographic Characteristics of Korean Cadaver Donors

  • 1Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, DanKook University, Chonan, Korea. anat104@dku.edu


In the past, all cadaver dissections for the education of medical students were performed with one who has sickened and died unidentified by the roadside. Recently, needs for cadaver donations are increasing more and more due to decrease of unidentified dead bodies with economical development and improvement of environment. However, in spite of increasing cadaver donations, demographic studies on the cadaver donors haven't been performed until now. In this study, demographic characteristics such as sex, age, cause of death, and educational level on 107 cadaver donors from 1998 to 2000 were investigated and compared them to the data from 'annual report on the cause of death statistics' published by national statistical office. Male cadaver donors occupied 71.9% (77 persons) and female occupied 28.1% (30 persons). Age related proportions revealed 16.8% with ages over 70, 23.4% with ages from 60 to 69, 28.0% with ages from 50 to 59, 17.8% with ages from 40 to 49, 10.3% with ages from 30 to 39, and only 3.7% with ages less than 30. Most frequent causes of death among the cadaver donors were diseases from malignant neoplasm (35.7%) and circulatory system (33.9%). Educational levels above high-school graduation occupied 49.5% among cadaver donors whereas proportion of educational levels above high-school graduation among overall dead persons in 1998 was only 19.7%. Results from this study could be practiced as important basic data base for the expansion of cadaver donation campaigns and organized regular future studies on the demographic characteristics of cadaver donors.


Cadaver donation; Demographic characteristics; Dissection; Cause of death
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