Scoliosis is most common in Korea among teenage girls, the National Health Insurance Service said Sunday based on 2012 data.
Out of all 144,700 patients treated for curvature of the spine, 55,400 or 38 percent were in their teens, 14 percent in their 20s, 10 percent in their 30s, and nine percent in their 50s.
The number of female patients was almost double that of males, and among female teenagers there were four times as many victims at 1,183 per 100,000 as the national average of 291.
Experts attribute the high figures among teens to detection of scoliosis in chest X-rays during regular medical check-up at school.
Lee Choon-sung of the University of Ulsan’s Asan Medical Center said, "The cause of scoliosis is unknown, and it is unclear why it is common among females. The crouched position that many parents are worried about is irrelevant."
Kim Hyoung-seop at the NHIS' Ilsan Hospital said, "Strengthening core muscles like the back and abs and exercise like swimming, fast walking and stretching are the best prevention."