Ann Occup Environ Med.  2017 ;29(1):6. 10.1186/s40557-017-0157-0.

The current condition of the workers' general health examination in South Korea: a retrospective study

  • 1Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Ulsan, Republic of Korea.


Business owners in the Republic of Korea must take part in the workers' general health examination. However, there have been few formal analyses of the uptake of this examination by employees. In the present study, we examined the rates of participation in medical examinations according to age group, health insurance type, and enterprise size, and then compared these results with those of the national general health screening. Furthermore, we determined the distribution of patients with abnormal results for diabetes and hypertension, and outlined the significance and history of domestic health examinations.
We started by comparing participation rates extracted from the among health examination data of the National Health Insurance Service from 2006-2013 by sex, age, insurance type, and enterprise size of workplace health insurance beneficiaries (i.e., those whose insurance is provided by their workplace). In addition, we analyzed the prevalence rates of abnormal results for hypertension and diabetes, and explored the history and significance of health examinations in the Republic of Korea.
The overall participation rate in the primary health examination in 2006 was 56%, and this increased to 72% in 2013. However, the rates of the secondary screening did not increase much. Among workplace policyholders (i.e., those whose insurance is provided by their workplace), the participation rates of workers in enterprises with less than 50 employees were lower than were those in enterprises with 50 or more employees. Notably, the rates and odds ratios of patients with abnormal results for diabetes and hypertension were relatively high, particularly among those working in smaller enterprises.
Although the workers' general health examination has been replaced with the national general health screening, it remains necessary to ensure uniform health management services among all workers in the Republic of Korea. This can, in turn, promote occupational health and improve working conditions throughout the Republic of Korea.


National health screening system; Worker's general health examination; National general examination; History of periodic health examination; Participation rate; Hypertension prevalence; Diabetes prevalence; Small enterprise; Health inequality
Full Text Links
  • AOEM
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2021 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: