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Korean J Intern Med. 2019 Mar;34(2):418-425. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2017.203. Epub 2018 May 11.

Epidemiology of urticaria including physical urticaria and angioedema in Korea.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Korea.
Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.



Despite the high burden and frequency of urticaria, its epidemiology is not well known. We investigated the epidemiology of various type of urticaria in Korea and changes in its annual prevalence over 5 years.


We used data from the 2010 to 2014 Health Insurance Review and Assessment database, which covers the claims of 97.0% of the South Korean population. Patients aged > 10 years old were included in this study. The presence of urticaria was identified on physician-certified diagnoses using the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes that include various type of urticaria (L500-L509) and angioedema (T783). Epidemiology of all type of urticaria, physical urticaria and angioedema were investigated.


The prevalence of all-type urticaria over the 5 years was 4.5% with a peak in individuals, especially females, aged 30 to 59 years. The age-specific prevalence of all-type urticaria increased with age from the 10- to 19-year age group to the 70- to 79-year age group. The prevalence of dermographism, cholinergic urticaria, and angioedema were 0.12%, 0.025%, and 0.027%, respectively. Cholinergic urticaria was most prevalent in those aged 10 to 29 years with male predominance. The annual prevalence of all-type urticaria, dermographism, and angioedema increased over the 5 years.


The prevalence of urticaria has increased annually in Korea. Cholinergic urticaria showed unique distribution in its age and gender, and angioedema showed remarkable increases in annual prevalence, although the prevalence estimation is still exploratory and diagnosis of urticaria based on ICD-10 codes need to be validated.


Angioedema; Epidemiology; Prevalence; Republic of Korea; Urticaria

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