Korean Circ J.  2021 Jun;51(6):495-503. 10.4070/kcj.2021.0097.

Korea Heart Disease Fact Sheet 2020: Analysis of Nationwide Data

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Heart Center, Konyang University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea
  • 4Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea
  • 5Gachon Cardiovascular Research Institute, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea


Background and Objectives
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. To provide an overview of the temporal trends in the burden of CVD, the Korean Society of Cardiology has published the Korea Heart Disease Fact Sheet in 2020.
We analyzed anonymized data of the Causes of Death Statistics, National Health Insurance Claims Database, and Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess mortality, hospitalizations, and risk factors for CVD.
The CVD mortality decreased until 2010, then steadily increased up to 123 per 100,000 persons in 2018. Since 2002, the number and rate of CVD hospitalization have continued to grow. In 2018, approximately 12.1 million Korean adults had hypertension, 4.3 million had diabetes, 8.7 million had hypercholesterolemia, 14.9 million had obesity, and 8.8 million were currently smoking. The number of risk factors increased markedly with older age; 58.4% of adults age ≥70 years had ≥2 risk factors.
CVD mortality and hospitalization have gradually increased in the last decade, and a substantially high proportion of adults were carrying more than 1 cardiovascular risk factor in 2018. With the rapid population aging, a continued increase in CVD appears inevitable in Korea. Concerted and sustained approaches are essential to achieve early prevention and reduce the burden of CVD.


Circulatory system; Heart diseases; Hospitalization; Mortality; Risk factors
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