Korean Circ J.  2020 Sep;50(9):754-772. 10.4070/kcj.2020.0171.

Cardiovascular Research Using the Korean National Health Information Database

  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea


The Korean National Health Information Database (NHID) contains nationwide claims data, including sociodemographic data, health care utilization, health screening data, and healthcare provider information. To compensate for the limitations of randomized clinical trials, real-world observational studies using claims data have emerged as a novel research tool. We summarized the structure of the Korean NHID and the recent researches conducted in the field of cardiovascular science. Epidemiological studies, prescription patterns, temporal trends, comparison of effectiveness and safety of treatments, variability index using laboratory data, and rare intractable disease constitute interesting topics of research in cardiovascular science using the NHID. The operational definition of covariates and clinical outcomes is important for researchers interested in using the NHID data as new tools to prove their hypothesis. A step-by-step approach adopted by a team of data scientists, epidemiologists, statisticians, and clinical researchers may be most effective while designing research studies. The ultimate direction of research using the NHID should aim to improve the welfare of the public by promoting public health, reducing medical costs, and guiding healthcare policies.


National Health Insurance; National Health Insurance Service; Population-based data; Korea
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