J Lipid Atheroscler.  2015 Dec;4(2):93-99. 10.12997/jla.2015.4.2.93.

Epidemiologic Characteristics of Dyslipidemia in Korea

  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. djkim@ajou.ac.kr
  • 2Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Etiology Research Center, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 3Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yeouido St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of mortality and disability worldwide and in Korea as well. Dyslipidemia is considered as a major and modifiable risk factor of cardiovascular disease. In Korea, the prevalence of dyslipidemia in people aged 30 years or older was 47.8% in 2013, with prevalence increasing as age increases. Men had higher prevalence of dyslipidemia than women (men, 57.6%; women, 38.3%). However, the prevalence of dyslipidemia in women increased rapidly after menopause. Furthermore, dyslipidemia is also rising in childhood and adolescents. The prevalence of hypo-HDL cholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia were higher than hyper-LDL cholesterolemia. However, hyper-LDL cholesterolemia also has been increasing due to the westernized diet and other lifestyle changes. Atherogenic dyslipidemia, which is the combination of these lipoprotein abnormalities, seems to be increasing. The prevalence of dyslipidemia was higher in obese people, and the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, which included dyslipidemia as a component of abnormalities, also increased in accordance with dyslipidemia. Also, dyslipidemia in patients with diabetes increased from 27.8% in 2006 to 49.5% in 2013. The awareness and treatment rate of dyslipidemia were lower in comparison with other chronic diseases. By providing information about the risk of dyslipidemia, primary prevention such as weight loss, dietary treatment, and quit smoking and secondary prevention such as early detection and drug treatment are required for reducing the development of cardiovascular disease.


Diabetes; Dyslipidemia; Epidemiology; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity

MeSH Terms

Cardiovascular Diseases
Chronic Disease
Life Style
Primary Prevention
Risk Factors
Secondary Prevention
Weight Loss


  • Fig. 1 Age-specific prevalence rates of dyslipidemia in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2013. The definition of dyslipidemia was made according to the presence of one or more of the following criteria: hyper-low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterolemia (LDL cholesterol ≥160 mg/dL or use of lipid-lowering drugs); hypertriglyceridemia (triglyceride ≥200mg/dL); and hypo-high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterolemia (HDL cholesterol <40 mg/dL in both sexes).

  • Fig. 2 Prevalence of each lipid abnormalities of dyslipidemia in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2013. The definitions of lipid abnormalities of dyslipidemia were made according the following criteria: hyper-low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterolemia (LDL cholesterol ≥160 mg/dL or use of lipid-lowering drugs); hypertriglyceridemia (triglyceride ≥200 mg/dL); and hypo-high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterolemia (HDL cholesterol <40 mg/dL in both sexes).

  • Fig. 3 Mean values of serum lipids by gender. HDL; high density lipoprotein, LDL; low density lipoprotein.

  • Fig. 4 Distribution of dyslipidemia in obese patients in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2013. General obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) categories: underweight (BMI<18.5 kg/m2), normal (18.5≤BMI<23 kg/m2), overweight (23≤BMI<25 kg/m2), and obese (BMI ≥25 kg/m2). Abdominal obesity was defined as a waist circumference of 90 cm or greater for men and 85 cm or greater for women.

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