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Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Feb;24(2):320-327. doi: 10.3201/eid2402.170862.

Trends in Infectious Disease Mortality, South Korea, 1983-2015.


We used national statistics from 1983-2015 to evaluate trends in mortality caused by infectious diseases in South Korea. Age-standardized mortality from infectious disease decreased from 43.5/100,000 population in 1983 to 16.5/100,000 in 1996, and then increased to 44.6/100,000 in 2015. Tuberculosis was the most common cause of death in 1983 and respiratory tract infections in 2015. We observed a significant decline in infant deaths caused by infectious diseases, but mortality in persons age >65 years increased from 135 deaths/100,000 population in 1996 to 307/100,000 in 2015. The relative inequality indices for respiratory tract infections, sepsis, and tuberculosis tended to increase over time. Although substantial progress has been achieved in terms of infant mortality, death rates from infectious disease has not decreased overall. Elderly populations with lower education levels and subgroups susceptible to respiratory infections and sepsis should be the focus of preventive policies.


South Korea; deaths; disparity; inequality; inequity; infectious diseases; mortality; respiratory infections; sepsis; trend; tuberculosis; vaccine-preventable diseases

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