Incidence and Prevalence of Peripheral Arterial Disease in South Korea: Retrospective Analysis of National Claims Data

Gi Wook Ryu, Young Shin Park, Jeewuan Kim, Yong Sook Yang, Young Guk Ko, Mona Choi

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Background: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) causes blood vessel narrowing that decreases blood flow to the lower extremities, with symptoms such as leg pain, discomfort, and intermittent claudication. PAD increases risks for amputation, poor health-related quality of life, and mortality. It is estimated that more than 200 million people worldwide have PAD, although the paucity of PAD research in the East detracts from knowledge on global PAD epidemiology. There are few national data–based analyses or health care utilization investigations. Thus, a national data analysis of PAD incidence and prevalence would provide baseline data to enable health promotion strategies for patients with PAD. Objective: This study aims to identify South Korean trends in the incidence and prevalence of PAD and PAD treatment, in-hospital deaths, and health care utilization. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of South Korean national claims data from 2009 to 2018. The incidence of PAD was determined by setting the years 2010 and 2011 as a washout period to exclude previously diagnosed patients with PAD. The study included adults aged ≥20 and <90 years who received a primary diagnosis of PAD between 2011 and 2018; patients were stratified according to age, sex, and insurance status for the incidence and prevalence analyses. Descriptive statistics were used to assess incidence, prevalence, endovascular revascularization (EVR) events, amputations, in-hospital deaths, and the health care utilization characteristics of patients with PAD. Results: Based on data from 2011 to 2018, there were an average of 124,682 and 993,048 incident and prevalent PAD cases, respectively, in 2018. PAD incidence (per 1000 persons) ranged from 2.68 to 3.09 during the study period. From 2012 to 2018, the incidence rate in both sexes showed an increasing trend. PAD incidence continued to increase with age. PAD prevalence (per 1000 persons) increased steadily, from 3.93 in 2011 to 23.55 in 2018. The number of EVR events varied between 933 and 1422 during the study period, and both major and minor amputations showed a decreasing trend. Health care utilization characteristics showed that women visited clinics more frequently than men, whereas men used tertiary and general hospitals more often than women. Conclusions: The number of incident and prevalent PAD cases generally showed an increasing trend. Visits to tertiary and general hospitals were higher among men than women. These results indicate the need for attention not only to Western and male patients, but also to Eastern and female patients with PAD. The results are generalizable, as they are based on national claims data from the entire South Korean population, and they can promote preventive care and management strategies for patients with PAD in clinical and public health settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere34908
JournalJMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Education (2019R1A2C1007185, 2020R1A6A1A03041989) and by the Brain Korea 21 Four Project, funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea and Yonsei University College of Nursing. GWR and YSY received scholarships from the Brain Korea 21 Four Project. JK received a scholarship from the Brain Korea 21 Project (Big Data–Based Interdisciplinary Education and Research for Data Science). This study used Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service research data (M20190923977). The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service or the Ministry of Health and Welfare in South Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© Gi Wook Ryu, Young Shin Park, Jeewuan Kim, Yong Sook Yang, Young-Guk Ko, Mona Choi.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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