Prevalence and Economic Burden of Autism Spectrum Disorder in South Korea Using National Health Insurance Data from 2008 to 2015

  • Minha Hong
  • Sang Min Lee
  • Saengryeol Park
  • Seok-Jun Yoon
  • Young-Eun Kim
  • In-Hwan OhEmail author
Original Paper


The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasing worldwide. We investigated the economic burden of ASD in South Korea using a nationally representative data source. The direct medical and non-medical costs, and indirect costs resulting from ASD were estimated. The total prevalence was 5.04 (per 100,000) in 2008, and 10.97 in 2015. The economic cost of ASD was estimated to be $2,700,596 in 2008 and $9,645,503 in 2015. Of the total economic cost in 2015, 72.3% was from direct costs and 27.7% from indirect costs, and 87.5% related to male patients and 12.5% to female patients. The results suggest that the increase in economic costs was greater than the increase in prevalence.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Economic Burden Korea National Health Insurance data 



This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (No. HI18C0446).

Author Contributions

All authors listed have contributed sufficiently to the project to be included as authors, and all those who are qualified to be authors are listed in the author byline.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Myongji HospitalHanyang University College of MedicineGoyangSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryKyung Hee University School of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Preventive MedicineKyung Hee University School of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Preventive MedicineKorea University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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