Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 54–58 | Cite as

Burden of osteoporosis in adults in Korea: a national health insurance database study

  • Hyung Jin Choi
  • Chan Soo Shin
  • Yong-Chan Ha
  • Sun-Mee Jang
  • Su-Hyun Jang
  • Chan Mi Park
  • Hyun-Koo Yoon
  • Seong-Su Lee
Original Article


We evaluated the number of osteoporosis patients under treatment and secular trends in 2005–2008 in South Korea. We investigated nationwide data regarding the number of osteoporosis patients under treatment in South Korea using data from the Health Insurance Review Agency (HIRA), which includes nationwide information. Reimbursement records from the HIRA database between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2008 were investigated. Patients aged ≥30 years old with osteoporosis were identified based on a study-defined algorithm using prescription data and diagnostic codes. During the study periods, the number of patients receiving medical treatment related to osteoporosis increased from 1,034,399 to 1,392,189 for women and from 120,496 to 171,902 for men. The calculated proportion of osteoporosis patients under treatment in the general population over 50 years of age was 6.1% for men and 33.3% for women, and in the general population over 30 years of age was 2.7% for men and 16.6% for woman. More than 40% of patients (59.1% for women; 41.2% for men) were treated with medication indicated only for osteoporosis. About 4–7% of osteoporosis patients had a past medical history suggesting a secondary cause of osteoporosis. More than 80% of all osteoporosis patients were women older than 50 years, reflecting the pronounced burden of osteoporosis among postmenopausal women. This study demonstrated a substantial increasing trend in medical claims related to osteoporosis in 2005–2008 among adults in Korea and a pronounced burden of osteoporosis among postmenopausal women.


Osteoporosis Treatment Insurance Epidemiology 



This work was supported by the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service funded by the Korean government. This study was a part of the Korean Nationwide-databased Osteoporosis Study (KNOS) that was performed by the policy and information analysis department of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service and Korea Society of Bone Mineral Research.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest and nothing to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyung Jin Choi
    • 1
  • Chan Soo Shin
    • 1
  • Yong-Chan Ha
    • 2
  • Sun-Mee Jang
    • 3
  • Su-Hyun Jang
    • 3
  • Chan Mi Park
    • 3
  • Hyun-Koo Yoon
    • 4
  • Seong-Su Lee
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryChung-Ang University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Health Insurance Review and Assessment ServiceSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal MedicineKwandong University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaSeoulRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Bucheon Saint Mary HospitalBucheon-SiRepublic of Korea

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