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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2006;39(6): 499-504.
The Socioeconomic Cost of Diseases in Korea.
Young Ho Jung, Sukja Ko
Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, Korea. yhjung@kihasa.re.kr
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to estimate the annual socioeconomic cost of diseases in Korea. METHODS: We estimate both the direct and indirect costs of diseases in Korea during 2003 using a prevalence-based approach. The direct cost estimates included medical expenditures, traffic costs and caregiver's cost, and the indirect costs, representing the loss of production, included lost workdays due to illness and lost earnings due to premature death, which were estimated based on the human capital theory. The cost estimates were reported at three different discount rates (0, 3 and 5%). RESULTS: The cost of diseases in Korea during 2003 was 38.4 trillion won based on 0% discount rate. This estimate represents approximately 5.3% of GDP. The direct and indirect costs were estimated to be 22.5 trillion (58.5% of total cost) and 15.9 trillion won (41.5%), respectively. It was also found that the cost for those aged 40~49 accounted for the largest proportion (21.7%) in relation to age groups. The cost of diseases for males was 23.5% higher than that for females. For major diseases, the total socioeconomic costs were 16.0, 13.4, 11.3 and 11.19% for neoplasms, and diseases of the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study can be expected to provide valuable information for determining intervention and funding priorities, and for planning health policies.
Key words: Cost of illness; Socioeconomic cost; Human capital approach; Direct cost; Indirect cost
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