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J Korean Med Assoc. 2012 Dec;55(12):1226-1236. English. Original Article.
Kim HJ , Kim YA , Seo HY , Kim EJ , Yoon SJ , Oh IH .
Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Health Policy and Hospital Management, Graduate School of Public Health, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Nursing, Cheju Halla College, Jeju, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.

Stroke is a disease that causes a substantial economic burden. With the rapidly aging population in Korea, the prevalence of chronic diseases, including stroke, is expected to rise, along with associated health care expenditures. Therefore, we estimated the economic burden of stroke in Korea in 2010 using nationally representative data. We used a prevalence-based approach to estimate the cost of stroke by claims data from the Korean National Health Insurance. Data from the Korea Health Panel, the Korea National Statistical Office's records of causes of death, and Labor Statistics were used to calculate direct non-medical costs and indirect costs. Direct costs included direct medical costs and direct non-medical costs, and indirect costs were opportunity costs lost due to premature death and productivity loss. Total costs were estimated by adding age- and gender-specific costs. The total economic burden of stroke was $3.53 billion: $1.87 billion for hemorrhagic stroke and $1.66 billion for ischemic stroke. The direct costs were $1.74 billion and the indirect costs were $1.79 billion. By gender, males were burdened at $2.19 billion, while females bore $1.34 billion of the total burden. Stroke imposes a huge economic burden, as indicated by the fact that the costs of stroke increased by 4.4% from 2005 to 2010, and the estimated cost was 0.35% of gross domestic product. Therefore, effective prevention programs and treatments are needed to reduce the economic burden of stroke in Korea.

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