Diabetes Metab J.  2022 Sep;46(5):803-807. 10.4093/dmj.2021.0236.

Rising Incidence of Diabetes in Young Adults in South Korea: A National Cohort Study

  • 1Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
  • 2Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea


We investigated the incidence of diagnosed diabetes in South Korean adults (aged ≥20 years) by analyzing data for the National Health Insurance Service–National Sample Cohort. From 2006 to 2015, the overall incidence rate of diagnosed diabetes decreased by approximately 0.1% per year until 2015. Although, this trend was observed in individuals aged 40 years or over, the rate increased slightly in the 20–29 and 30–39 years age groups, from 0.5 to 0.7 and 2.0 to 2.6 per 1,000 individuals, respectively. The proportion of obese young adults with diabetes increased remarkably, from 51.4% in 2006 to 72.4% in 2015. Thus, young adults need early identification and weight-control strategies to prevent diabetes.


Diabetes mellitus; Epidemiology; Incidence


  • Fig. 1. Incidence rate of diagnosed diabetes by age group.

  • Fig. 2. Change in the characteristics of young-onset diabetes. (A) Sex, (B) household income, (C) type of diabetes, and (D) body mass index.

Cited by  1 articles

Diabetes Fact Sheet in Korea 2021
Jae Hyun Bae, Kyung-Do Han, Seung-Hyun Ko, Ye Seul Yang, Jong Han Choi, Kyung Mook Choi, Hyuk-Sang Kwon, Kyu Chang Won
Diabetes Metab J. 2022;46(3):417-426.    doi: 10.4093/dmj.2022.0106.


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