Korea's Diabetes Death Rate is Highest in OECD

Korea's rate of diabetes-related deaths is the highest of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations.

Diabetes-related deaths per 100,000 persons were 35.5 in South Korea, more than twice the 13.7 average of OECD nations. Japan's rate is 5.9 and England's is 7.5. Korea's rate is almost twice that of Germany's 16.6 and significantly higher than the U.S.' 20.9 even though both of those nations have high numbers of diabetes-related deaths.

The results were reported Sunday after an analysis of 2006 medical and public health data from the OECD by the Research Institute for Health Policy of the Korean Medical Association. Dr. Oh Geum-ja of the Research Institute for Health Policy said that although diabetes-related deaths have tended to decrease in most OECD nations, they are markedly increasing in Korea.

The rate of diabetes-related deaths in the OECD has decreased continuously from its peak of 15.7 per 100,000 in 1990 to 13.8 in 2000. Korea, however, has seen its diabetes deaths more than triple from 10.8 in 1985 to 28.8 in 1995 to 33.7 in 2000.

The current total number of diabetes sufferers in Korea is estimated to be more than five million, including those in the pre-diabetic stage.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 26, 2007 10:14 KST