Screening for Diabetes Complications during the COVID-19 Outbreak in South Korea

Yu Shin Park, Soo Young Kim, Eun Cheol Park, Sung In Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to investigate the implementation of diabetes complications screening in South Korea during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Data from the Korea Community Health Surveys conducted in 2019 and 2020 were used. This study included 51,471 participants. Multiple level analysis was used to investigate the relationships between screening for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic nephropathy and variables of both individual-and community-level factors in 2019 and 2020, before and after the COVID-19 outbreak. Diabetes nephropathy complications screening in 2020 had a lower odds ratio. However, regions heavily affected by COVID-19 showed a negative association with diabetes complications screening after the COVID-19 outbreak. For those being treated with medication for diabetes, there was a significant negative association with diabetic nephropathy screening after the outbreak. The COVID-19 outbreak was associated with a reduction in the use of diabetes nephropathy complications screening. Additionally, only regions heavily affected by COVID-19 spread showed a negative association with diabetes complications screening compared to before the COVID-19 outbreak. In this regard, it appears that many patients were unable to attend outpatient care due to COVID-19. As such, these patients should be encouraged to visit clinics for diabetes complications screening. Furthermore, alternative methods need to be developed to support these patients. Through these efforts, the development of diabetes-related complications should be prevented, and the costs associated with these complications will be reduced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5436
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI20C1130).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Screening for Diabetes Complications during the COVID-19 Outbreak in South Korea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this