Korean J Health Promot.  2019 Jun;19(2):84-90. 10.15384/kjhp.2019.19.2.84.

Factors Associated with Unmet Healthcare Needs of the Older Korean Population: The Seventh Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea. pyongs@hanmail.net
  • 2Department of Educational Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
South Korea has the fastest growing aging population in the world, and older people require more healthcare services. Unmet healthcare needs still exist in Korea due to several complex reasons. This study aimed to evaluate the factors associated with unmet healthcare needs of the older Korean population.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study included 1,194 older adults, aged 65 years and older, who participated in the Seventh Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2017. Sociodemographic factors, lifestyle and health status, comorbidity, and unmet healthcare needs were included in this study's analysis. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between unmet healthcare needs and other factors.
RESULTS
The prevalence of unmet healthcare needs in this study population was 7.8%. After adjusting for age, sex, education level, household income, living alone, private health insurance, regular walking, body mass index, unintended weight loss, and osteoarthritis, women (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.921; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.061-3.479) and unintended weight loss (aOR, 2.218; 95% CI, 1.105-4.453) were more likely to have unmet healthcare needs than their counterparts. The group with general obesity (aOR, 1.691; 95% CI, 1.015-2.816) was more likely to have unmet healthcare needs than the group with normal body mass index.
CONCLUSIONS
Among the older Korean population, being a woman, general obesity, and unintended weight loss may be risk factors for unmet healthcare needs.

Keyword

Assessment of healthcare needs; Aging; Weight loss; KNHANES

MeSH Terms

Adult
Aging
Body Mass Index
Comorbidity
Cross-Sectional Studies
Delivery of Health Care*
Education
Family Characteristics
Female
Humans
Insurance, Health
Korea*
Life Style
Logistic Models
Needs Assessment
Nutrition Surveys*
Obesity
Odds Ratio
Osteoarthritis
Prevalence
Risk Factors
Walking
Weight Loss
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