Incidence, Disability, and Mortality in Patients With Guillain-Barré Syndrome in Korea: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

Sang Wook Yi, Jung Hwan Lee, Ji Man Hong, Young Chul Choi, Hyung Jun Park

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background and Purpose This study aimed to identify the epidemiological features of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in the Korean population. Methods Patients with GBS were defined as those who were hospitalized with a primary diagnostic code of G61.0 on the Korean Classification of Disease in a department of neurology, rehabilitation medicine, or pediatrics. We evaluated the incidence and prevalence of GBS as well as physical disability, mortality, and cause of death in patients with GBS from 2002 to 2018 in the Korean population using the Korean National Health Insurance Service database. Results We identified 11,146 patients with GBS. The ratio of males to females was 1.48. The age-adjusted incidence rate per 100,000 persons increased steadily from 0.84 in 2002 to 1.68 in 2018, as did the age-adjusted prevalence rate per 100,000 persons, from 0.77 to 15.62. The incidence and prevalence of GBS increased with age, peaking at 70–79 years. Among 10,114 patients without physical disability at the time of GBS being diagnosed, 502 (5.0%) patients had moderate disability and 526 (5.2%) had severe disability by the end of the study period. A total of 1,221 (11.0%) patients with GBS died during the mean follow-up period of 17 years (2002–2019). There were 144 (1.3%) in-hospital deaths. Conclusions This was the first nationwide epidemiological study of patients with GBS covering the entire population including patients of all ages in the Republic of Korea. We have revealed the seasonality of admissions, disability, and long-term mortality rates in patients with GBS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-58
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurology (Korea)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (grant number: 2020R1I1A1A01068066).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Korean Neurological Association.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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