Economic burden of otitis media and a survey of physicians for its practice and claim codes in Korea

Byung Chul Chun, Woo Yun Sohn, Wonjoo Jung, Hoan Jong Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common pediatric infectious diseases. The burden of OM is known in many countries, but data for Korea has not been collected. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the disease burden of OM in both children and adults. The Health Insurance Review and Assessment database study was analyzed to estimate the clinical and economic burden of OM and acute OM (AOM) for 2004. OM was defined as all cases coded H65, H66, or H67 and AOM cases coded H65, H65.0, H65.1, H65.9, H66, H66.4 or H66.9. For AOM, repeated visits within 30 days were considered to be one episode. Age specific incidence, and direct and indirect costs were estimated. A survey on pediatricians and otolaryngologists who most frequently diagnosed OM was carried out. The objective was to evaluate the accuracy of the claims made for OM and to examine the diagnosis and treatments of OM. A total of 5,964,587 claims for OM and 2,924,532 AOM episodes were reported. The incidence of outpatients presenting AOM was 60.9/1,000. The incidence of AOM was highest in children aged 1 year (736.9/1,000). The overall hospitalization rate due to AOM was 2.8/10,000, with a peak of 29.4/10,000 (1 year). The total cost incurred by AOM in Korea was estimated to be around 606.3 billion Korean won (KRW; 1,000 KRW is approximately US$1.00). The total cost of admissions was approximately 22.9 billion KRW, and the average cost of admission per person was about 1,690,000 KRW in a year. The cost of outpatient visits was 583.4 billion KRW, and 199,000 KRW per person. According to a survey of pediatricians and otolaryngologists on the accuracy of the OM diagnostic code, treatment, and prescription habits, the first-line diagnosis of AOM seemed to be fairly accurate. OM, including AOM, causes a considerable clinical and economic burden in Korea.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-71
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan


    • Economic burden
    • Epidemiology
    • Otitis media

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Economic burden of otitis media and a survey of physicians for its practice and claim codes in Korea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this