Prevalence of vitiligo and associated comorbidities in Korea

Hemin Lee, Mu Hyoung Lee, Dong Youn Lee, Hee Young Kang, Ki Ho Kim, Gwang Seong Choi, Jeonghyun Shin, Hee Jung Lee, Dong Hyun Kim, Tae Heung Kim, Ai Young Lee, Seung Chul Lee, Sanghoon Lee, Kyoung Wan Kim, Seung Kyung Hann, Chul Jong Park, Sang Ho Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Vitiligo prevalence and its associated comorbidities rate have been reported variably among different populations. We aimed to determine the prevalence of vitiligo in Korea along with the baseline rate of comorbidities and compared the risks to the general population using hospital visit information of the total population in Korea. Materials and Methods: We assessed demographic characteristics of vitiligo patients in Korean population from 2009 to 2011 in a nationwide data from Health Insurance Review Assessment Service. Patients who had at least one visit to Korea’s primary, secondary, or tertiary referral hospitals with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis code for vitiligo were identified. As a supplementary study, comorbidities associated with vitiligo were selected for further review to calculate relative risks compared to the general population. Results: The annual prevalence of vitiligo determined by hospital-visiting rate in Korea was 0.12% to 0.13% over a three year period. In sync with other previous epidemiological studies, there was bimodal distribution among the age groups and no difference between genders. Also, vitiligo in Korean population was associated with various autoimmune/non-autoimmune diseases such as thyroiditis, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Conclusion: This study was by far the most comprehensive review on prevalence of vitiligo using a data of total population in Korea. The prevalence is within a range of those reported in previous literatures, and increased risk of comorbidities such as thyroid diseases and psoriasis in vitiligo might aid clinicians in the initial work up of vitiligo patients and concurrent follow ups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2015.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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