Prevalence of otolaryngologic diseases in South Korea: Data from the Korea national health and nutrition examination survey 2008

Yang Sun Cho, Seung Ho Choi, Kyoung Ho Park, Hong Ju Park, Jeong Whun Kim, Joon Moon, Chae Seo Rhee, Kyung Soo Kim, Dong Il Sun, Seung Hwan Lee, Ja Won Koo, Yoon Woo Koh, Kun Hee Lee, Seung Won Lee, Kyung Won Oh, Eun Young Pyo, Ari Lee, Young Taek Kim, Chul Hee Lee

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Objectives. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence of otolaryngologic diseases in Korea. Methods. We obtained data from the 2008 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (KNHANES), which were cross-sectional surveys of the civilian, non-institutionalized population of South Korea (n=4,930). A field survey team that included an otolaryngologist, nurses, and interviewers moved with a mobile examination unit and performed otolaryngologic interviews and physical examinations. Results. The prevalence of subjective hearing loss, tinnitus, preauricular fistua, tympanic membrane perforation, and cholesteatoma were 11.97%, 20.27%, 2.08%, 1.60%, and 1.18%, respectively. Dizziness and vestibular dysfunction were common among Korean adults, since 23.33% of the participants reported symptoms of dizziness or imbalance, and the prevalence of vestibular dysfunction was 3.86%. The prevalence of nasal diseases was relatively high, as the prevalence of allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, and a deviated nasal septum were 28.01%, 7.12%, and 42.94%, respectively. Subjective dysphonia was found in 6.60% of the participants, and the prevalence of subjective dysphonia increased with age. Conclusion. This is the first nation wide epidemiologic study to assess the prevalence of otolaryngologic diseases by both the Korean Otolaryngologic Society and the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Considering the high prevalence of otolaryngologic diseases in Korea, the results call for additional studies to better prevent and manage otolaryngologic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-193
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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