J Clin Neurol.  2023 Mar;19(2):147-155. 10.3988/jcn.2022.0212.

Increased 10-Year Prevalence of Huntington’s Disease in South Korea: An Analysis of Medical Expenditure Through the National Healthcare System

  • 1Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Public Healthcare Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Neurology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Neurology, Neuroscience & Dementia Research Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Department of Neurology, Seoul National UniversitySeoul Metropolitan Government Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 6Department of Neurology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Background and Purpose
This study aimed to determine the updated 10-year prevalence of Huntington’s disease (HD) in South Korea and the medical and economic burdens across the duration of the disease.
Data from the National Health Insurance database during 2010–2019 were analyzed. We identified HD cases using predefined criteria. Information on age at diagnosis, sex, and common nonneurological comorbidities were collected. We analyzed individual patterns of the use of medical services and yearly medical expenditure. Incidence rates, 10-year prevalence rates, and longitudinal medical expenditure changes were assessed.
New patients with HD (average=152.10) were detected every year, with an annual incidence of 0.29 per 100,000. The estimated 10-year prevalence of HD was 2.2 per 100,000. The most common ages at the time of diagnosis were 50–59 years (23.3%). In 2019, 56.4% of patients with HD were followed-up at referral or general hospitals, and 32.2% were managed at long-term-care hospitals. The annual medical cost for an individual was KRW 6,569,341±895,097 (mean±SD) (mean≈USD 5,653). Medical expenditure was the highest in those aged 60–79 years, and lowest in those younger than 30 years. However, in all age groups, the annual medical expenditure was highest during the 9 years following a diagnosis.
This study found that the actual prevalence of HD in South Korea was higher than previously thought and that patients are in a situation with high medical expenditure that persists over time.


Huntington’s disease; epidemiology; Health Insurance and Review Assessment; medical expenditure
Full Text Links
  • JCN
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr