Disease prevalence and mortality among agricultural workers in Korea

Won Jin Lee, Eun Shil Cha, Eun Kyeong Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper was to provide an overview of mortality and disease prevalence related to occupational diseases among agricultural workers in Korea. We evaluated the age-standardized mortality rates and the prevalence of chronic diseases and compared them with those of other populations using death registration data from 2004 through 2008 and the 2005 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In addition, we conducted a literature review on published articles examining the health status of farmers in Korea. Agricultural workers have a significantly higher mortality of cancer, tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases, liver diseases, suicide, motor and non-motor vehicle accidents. Compared to other populations, farmers have higher prevalence rates of arthritis and intervertebral disc disorders. The literature review revealed a number of workrelated diseases among farmers, such as musculoskeletal diseases, pesticide poisoning, infections, and respiratory and neurologic diseases. Korean farmers demonstrate a distinct pattern of mortality and disease prevalence compared to other populations. Although lifestyle factors remain important contributors to those deaths and diseases, our study suggests that occupation is a major determinant as well. Intensive programs such as surveillance systems, therefore, should be developed in order to identify and prevent workrelated diseases among agricultural workers in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S112-S118
JournalJournal of Korean medical science
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Agricultural workers' diseases
  • Mortality
  • Occupations
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Korea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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