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Associations between digital media use and lack of physical exercise among middle-school adolescents in Korea
Gyeongmin Kim, Hyunsuk Jeong, Hyeon Woo Yim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2023012.   Published online January 10, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023012    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
The reported effects of digital media overuse on physical activity among adolescents are inconsistent. This study examined the association between hours of digital media use and lack of moderate-intensity physical exercise according to the type of digital media.
Methods
This study included 1,837 middle school students from the iCURE study conducted in Korea. Hours spent using digital media were measured by self-reported daily usage time for internet games, messengers, social media, and watching game streaming on weekdays. Lack of moderate-intensity physical exercise was defined as performing a minimum of 30 minutes at a time less than twice weekly. Multivariate logistic regression analysis stratified by gender was performed.
Results
Among male students, the group with the highest hours of using either internet games or watching game streaming was more likely to lack moderate-intensity physical exercise than each non-user group. In contrast, among male students, the group using either messengers or social media had a higher rate of moderate-intensity physical exercise compared to each non-user group. Female students showed no association between hours spent using Internet games, messengers, social media, or watching game streaming and a lack of moderate-intensity physical exercise.
Conclusions
Among male middle school students in Korea, the excessive use of Internet games or watching game streaming was associated with a lack of moderate-intensity physical exercise. Thus, guidelines should be established regarding adolescent use of internet games and watching game streaming.
Summary
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Age at first childbirth and the risk of hypertriglyceridemia among Korean women
Hye Rin Choi, Hyeon Chang Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2023010.   Published online December 29, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023010    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
We aimed to investigate the association of age at first childbirth with the risk of hypertriglyceridemia among Korean women.
Methods
This study used data from the Korean genome and epidemiology study of the cardiovascular disease association study. A total of 16,747 women were included in the cross-sectional analysis, and 6,250 women were included in the longitudinal analysis. The participants were divided based on their age at first childbirth (<20 years, 20–24 years, 25–29 years, and ≥30 years). Hypertriglyceridemia was defined as triglyceride levels of >150 mg/dL.
Results
The multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) for prevalent hypertriglyceridemia was 1.19 (1.01-1.40) in women with first childbirth <20 years, compared to those with first childbirth at 25-29 years, after adjusted for age, study site, body mass index, blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol consumption, carbohydrate intake, income, marital status, education, parity, usage of oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement status. During a median follow-up of 5.2 years, 1,770 women developed hypertriglyceridemia. Compared with women giving birth to their first child between 25 and 29 years of age, those giving birth to their first child before 20 years of age had a higher risk for incident hypertriglyceridemia in later life (Adjusted hazard ratio: 1.25, 95% CI: 0.99–1.57).
Conclusions
Giving birth to the first child before the age of 20 years was significantly associated with an increased risk of hypertriglyceridemia among Korean women.
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The Association between occupational stress level and health-related productivity loss among Korean employees
Jonghee Chung, Jin-Hyo Kim, Jae Yoon Lee, Hee Seok Kang, Dong-wook Lee, Yun-Chul Hong, Moyeol Kang
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2023009.   Published online December 28, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023009    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
Occupational stress management is particularly important for successful business operations, given that occupational stress adversely affects workers’ health, eventually lowering their productivity. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the correlation between occupational stress and health-related productivity loss (HRPL) among Korean workers.
Methods
In 2021, 1, 078 workers participated in a web-based questionnaire survey. HRPL was measured using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire, and occupational stress was measured using the Korean Occupational Stress Scale-Short Form. Occupational stress level was divided into tertiles (low, intermediate, and high), and the low occupational stress group was used as the reference group. Using a generalised linear model, differences in labour productivity loss according to the levels of occupational stress were tested after adjusting for demographic characteristics such as age, gender, education level, household income, occupation, and underlying medical conditions.
Results
Non-parametric regression analysis of HRPL according to occupational stress showed that as occupational stress increased, so did HRPL. A statistically significant difference was observed in the HRPL of the intermediate and high occupational stress level groups compared to that of the low occupational stress level group.
Conclusions
Our results support the hypothesis that high occupational stress is associated with decreased labour productivity.
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Viral shedding patterns of the symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection according to virus-type dominant periods and vaccination status in Gyeonggi Province, Korea
Gawon Choi, Ah-Young Lim, Sojin Choi, Kunhee Park, Soon Young Lee, Jong-Hun Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2023008.   Published online December 21, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023008    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
We compared the viral cycle threshold (Ct) value of infected patients to better understand the viral kinetics during the dominant period in which a specific virus type according to the vaccination status in Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea.
Methods
We obtained case-specific data from the COVID-19 surveillance system, Gyeonggi in-depth epidemiologic report system, and Health Insurance Review & Assessment (HIRA) Service from January 2020 to January 2022. We defined the dominant periods according to the viral sequencing test result and explored Ct values. Using a generalized additive model, we performed a nonlinear regression analysis to determine viral kinetics over time.
Results
Cases in the delta variant dominant period had higher viral shedding patterns than cases in other periods. The temporal change of virus shedding did not differ according to the vaccination status in the omicron variant dominant period but decreased in patients who completed the third vaccination in the delta variant dominant period. The time from symptom onset to peak viral shedding based on the E gene in the case of the omicron and delta variant dominant periods was approximately 2.4 days (95% CI: 2.2-2.5) and 2.1 days (95% CI: 95% CI: 2.0-2.1), respectively.
Conclusions
In the one-time tests conducted to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection in a large population, although individual characteristics were not adjusted, it was confirmed that the viral shedding differed according to the dominant strain and vaccination history. These analysis results give utilization value for hundreds of thousands of test data produced at SARS-CoV-2 screening test centers.
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The associations of tobacco use, sexually transmitted infections, HPV vaccination, and screening with the global incidence of cervical cancer: An ecological time series modelling study
Luyan Zheng, Yushi Lin, Jie Wu, Min Zheng
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2023005.   Published online December 13, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023005    [Accepted]
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AbstractAbstract
Abstract
Objectives
We aimed to quantify the temporal associations between cervical cancer incidence and cervical cancer-related factors and to predict the number of new cervical cancer cases averted under counterfactual scenarios compared to status quo scenario.
Methods
In this study, we described temporal trends in cervical cancer and its factors globally from 1990 to 2019. We then used generalized linear mixed models to explore the impact of tobacco use, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and cervical screening on cervical cancer incidence. Counterfactual analysis was performed to simulate the most effective scenario for the reduction of cervical cancer incidence.
Results
The worldwide incidence of cervical cancer showed a downward trend over the past three decades (estimated annual percentage change [EAPC] = -0.72%), whereas the incidence remained high (>30 cases per 100,000 persons) in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Higher smoking and STIs prevalence were significantly associated with increased incidence rates of cervical cancer, whereas lower HPV vaccination and screening coverage were significantly associated with increased cervical cancer incidence. If the strategic goals for accelerating the elimination of cervical cancer and tobacco control program were achieved in 2019, the largest decrease in the number of new cervical cancer cases would be observed, leading to 54,169 fewer new cases of cervical cancer in 2019.
Conclusions
Our counterfactual analysis found that a comprehensive intervention program emphasizing scale-up cervical screening coverage (70%), HPV vaccination coverage (90%), as well as tobacco control (30% relative reduction) was the most effective program for reducing cervical cancer incidence.
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Parental concerns on COVID-19 vaccine safety and hesitancy in Korea: Implications for vaccine communication
Hye-Kyung Cho, Hyunju Lee, Young June Choe, Shinkyeong Kim, Sujin Seo, Jiwon Moon, Eun Hwa Choi, Geun-Yong Kwon, Jee Yeon Shin, Sang-Yoon Choi, Mi Jin Jeong, Myoungsoon You
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2023004.   Published online December 13, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023004    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
Vaccination is one of the most important strategies to contain the spread of COVID-19. As vaccination in children is dependent on parents, it is important to understand parents’ awareness and attitudes toward vaccines in order to devise strategies to raise vaccination rates in children.
Methods
A web-based nationwide survey was conducted among Korean parents of 7–18- year-old children in August 2021 to estimate parents’ intention to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 and identify key factors affecting parental acceptance and hesitancy using regression analysis.
Results
Approximately 56.4% (575/1,019) were willing to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. Contributing factors to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy were mothers (aOR 0.36, 95% CI 0.25–0.52), parents with lower education (aOR 0.83, 95% CI 0.70–0.97), hesitancy to other childhood vaccines (aOR 0.78, 95% CI 0.64–0.96), and refusal to vaccinate themselves (aOR 0.08, 95% CI 0.02–0.20). Children of older age (aOR 1.2, 95% CI 1.13–1.28), trust to child’s doctor (aOR 1.19, 95% CI 1.07–1.32),parents who showed positive perception about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.9–3.57), and those who reported low risk of COVID-19 vaccine (aOR 1.68, 95% CI 1.27–2.24) were associated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. The most common cause of hesitancy was a concern about experiencing adverse reactions.
Conclusions
Providing parents with accurate and reliable information on vaccine effectiveness and safety is important to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccine in children. Differential or targeted approaches to parents according to gender, age and age of children are necessary for effective communication on the vaccination in children.
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Decreased birth weight after prenatal exposure during wildfires on the eastern coast of the Republic of Korea in 2000
En-Joo Jung, Ah-Young Lim, Jong-Hun Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2023003.   Published online December 9, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023003    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
In April 2000, a series of wildfires occurred simultaneously in five adjacent small cities located on the eastern coast of the Republic of Korea. These wildfires burned approximately 23,794 hectares of forestland over several days. We investigated the effects of birth weight associated with prenatal exposure to the by-products generated by wildfire disasters.
Methods
Birth weight data were obtained for 1999–2001 from the birth registration database of the Korean National Statistical Office, and matched with the zip-code, exposed/unexposed pregnancy week number for days of the wildfires. Then, generalized linear models were used to assess the associations between birth weight and exposure to wildfire after adjusting for fetal sex, gestational age, parity, maternal age, maternal education, paternal education, and exposed average atmospheric temperature.
Results
Compared with unexposed pregnancies before and after the wildfires, mean birth weight decreased by 41.4 g [95% confidence interval (CI): -72.4, -10.4] when exposed to wildfire during the first trimester, 23.2 g [95% CI: -59.3, 13.0] during the second trimester, and 27.0 g [95% CI: -63.8, 9.8] during the third trimester. In the adjusted model for infants exposed in utero during any trimester, the mean birth weight decreased by 32.5 g [95% CI: -53.2, -11.7].
Conclusions
We observed a 1% reduction in birth weight after wildfire exposure. Thus, exposure to by-products generated during a wildfire disaster during pregnancy may cause fetal growth retardation and developmental delays.
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Evaluation of the accessibility and its equity of the national public-private mix (PPM) program for tuberculosis in South Korea: a multilevel analysis
Hyunjin Son, Changhoon Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2023002.   Published online December 7, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023002    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
To examine the effect of area and individual level characteristics on the probability of getting the support for TB treatment by PPM program (PPM coverage) in the early stage of the program.
Methods
A retrospective cohort study based on the national TB notification data in South Korea. 137,865 drug-susceptible new TB patients were followed up. Odds ratios (ORs) of PPM support and PPM coverage were estimated through multilevel logistic regression and empirical Bayesian estimation according to individual, area, and cross level.
Results
The case of 0-29 years old age group, female, Korean nationality, treatment at a general hospital, and a one-time notified were higher for ORs of PPM support. Urbanicity and less deprivation showed a higher PPM coverage. Due to the cross-level interaction, PPM coverage in the urban areas (slope=-0.048, p0.001) was higher but steeper negative deprivation gradient than in rural areas (slope=-0.015, p0.001), and only negative deprivation gradient at general hospital (slope=-0.047, p0.001) according to healthcare facility. In the rural areas. PPM coverage also has a negative deprivation gradient at general hospital (slope=-0.031, p0.001) but a positive deprivation gradient at hospitals and clinics (respectively, 0.046(p0.001), 0.063(p0.001)). Nevertheless, the PPM coverage level in rural areas was generally lower than in urban areas.
Conclusions
The PPM program had created a large disparity in PPM coverage between urban-rural areas and type of healthcare facility according to deprivation. Considering the high risk of tuberculosis incidence in regions with higher deprivation, institutional improvement and program redesign is needed to improve accessibility and its equity.
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Long-term Association of Pericardial Adipose Tissue with Incident Diabetes and Prediabetes: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study
Minsuk Oh, Wonhee Cho, Dong Hoon Lee, Kara M. Whitaker, Pamela J. Schreiner, James G. Terry, Joon Young Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2023001.   Published online December 3, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023001    [Accepted]
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We examined if pericardial adipose tissue (PAT) is predictive of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes over time.
METHODS
A total of 2,570 adults without prediabetes/diabetes from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study were followed up over 15 years. PAT volume was measured by computed-tomography scans and new onset of prediabetes/diabetes was examined 5, 10, and 15 years after the PAT measurement. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to examine the association between tertile of PAT and up to 15 years later incident prediabetes/diabetes. The predictive ability of PAT (vs. waist circumference (WC), body mass index (BMI), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR)) for prediabetes/diabetes was examined by comparing the receiver operating characteristics curve (ROC)-area under the curve (AUC).
RESULTS
The highest tertile of PAT was associated with 1.56 (95% CI 1.03, 2.34) times higher rate of diabetes than the lowest tertile; however, no association was found between the highest tertile of PAT and prediabetes in the fully adjusted models, including additional adjustment for BMI or WC. In the fully adjusted models, the ROC-AUC of WC, BMI, WHtR, and PAT in predicting diabetes were not significantly different, whereas the ROC-AUC of WC in predicting prediabetes were higher than that of PAT.
CONCLUSIONS
PAT may be a significant predictor of hyperglycemia, but this association may be dependent on the effect of BMI or WC. Additional work is warranted to examine if novel adiposity indicators can suggest advanced and optimal information to the established diagnosis for prediabetes/diabetes.
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Multimorbidity patterns by health-related quality of life status in older adults: An association rules and network analysis utilizing Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Thi-Ngoc Tran, Sanghee Lee, Chang-Mo Oh, Hyunsoon Cho
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2022113.   Published online November 29, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022113    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
Improved life expectancy has increased the prevalence of older adults living with multimorbidity, which likely deteriorates their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However, less is known about patterns and the relationships of multimorbidity by HRQoL status in older adults.
Methods
Individuals aged 65 or older from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey V-VII (2010-2018) were analyzed. HRQoL was assessed by the EQ-5D questionnaire and categorized into three groups: poor, normal, and good. The impact of multimorbidity on HRQoL was evaluated using logistic regression. The patterns and inter-relationships between multimorbidities, stratified by the HRQoL groups, were analyzed using the association rule and network analysis approach.
Results
Multimorbidity status was significantly associated with poor HRQoL (3 or more diseases vs. none: aOR = 2.70, 95% CI, 2.10–3.46). Hypertension, arthritis, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes were the most prevalent diseases across all HRQoL groups. The complex interrelationships of morbidities, higher prevalence, and node strengths in all diseases were observed in the poor HRQoL group, particularly arthritis, depression, and stroke, compared to other groups (1.5~3 times higher, all p-values <.05). Apart from hypertension, arthritis and hyperlipidemia had a higher prevalence and stronger connections with other diseases in women, whereas diabetes and stroke in men with poor HRQoL.
Conclusions
Our study revealed that multimorbidity patterns were complicatedly inter-correlated disease networks in the poor HRQoL group and diversed by sex. These findings enhance the understanding of multimorbidity connections and help inform health care needs for older adults, especially those with poor HRQoL.
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Original Article
Mediation analysis of leisure activities on the association between cognitive function and mortality: a longitudinal study of 42,942 Chinese adults 65 years and older
Xingxing Chen, Wenfan Wu, Xian Zhang, Tingxi Long, Wenyu Zhu, Rundong Hu, Xurui Jin, Lijing L. Yan, Yao Yao
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022112.   Published online November 27, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022112
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Abstract
study aimed to evaluate whether leisure activities causally mediate these associations.
METHODS
This longitudinal study included 42,246 participants aged over 65 years from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. The Mini-Mental State Examination and a self-reported scale were used to measure cognitive status and leisure activities, respectively. We examined the associations of cognitive function and leisure activities with mortality using Cox proportional hazards models. Causal mediation analysis was used to assess whether leisure activities mediated the association between cognitive function and mortality.
RESULTS
Cognitive function and leisure activities were inversely associated with mortality. Leisure activities accounted for 28.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 25.6 to 31.1) of the total effect of cognitive function and mortality. A higher mediated proportion (PM) was observed for physical leisure activities (PM, 20.1%; 95% CI, 18.0 to 22.3) than for social leisure activities (PM, 17.7%; 95% CI, 15.7 to 19.7). The mediating effect was higher among participants at younger ages (PM, 41.5%; 95% CI, 21.3 to 65.4), those with higher education levels (PM, 30.5%; 95% CI, 25.3 to 36.2), and residents of rural China (PM, 42.5%; 95% CI, 25.4 to 62.5).
CONCLUSIONS
Cognitive function was associated with inverse mortality. Leisure activities significantly mediated this association. Participation in leisure activities at the early stages of mild cognitive impairment could reduce the risk of mortality, which has a major impact on interventional strategies for healthy aging.
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Original articles
Trends in breast cancer screening rates among Korean women: results from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey (KNCSS), 2005-2020
Soo Yeon Song, Yun Yeong Lee, Hye Young Shin, Bomi Park, Mina Suh, Kui Son Choi, Jae Kwan Jun
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2022111.   Published online November 24, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022111    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
Since 2002, the Korean government has provided breast cancer screening as part of the National Cancer Screening Program. This study reported the screening rate trends among Korean women from 2005 to 2020, including organized and opportunistic screening for breast cancer.
Methods
Data from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey, an annual cross-sectional nationwide survey, was collected using a structured questionnaire between 2005 and 2020. The study population included 23,702 women aged 40–74 years with no history of cancer. We estimated the screening rate with the current recommendation of biennial mammographic screening for breast cancer. In addition, a joinpoint trend analysis was performed for breast cancer screening rates using subgroup analysis.
Results
In 2020, the breast cancer screening rate was 63.5%, which showed an annual increase of 7.72% (95% confidence interval 5.53% to 9.95%) between 2005 and 2012, followed by non-significant trends thereafter. In particular, a significant decrease in the breast cancer screening rate was observed in the subgroups aged 50–59 years old, with 12–15 years of education, and living in rural areas.
Conclusions
Although there has been substantial improve in breast cancer screening rates in Korean women, the recent trend has flattened. Therefore, efforts are continually required to find out unmet subgroups and solve barriers for uptake of breast cancer screening.
Summary
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Cause-specific mortalities in Korea during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic
Jinwook Bahk, Kyunghee Jung-Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2022110.   Published online November 23, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022110    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
This study aimed to examine the trends in total mortality between 1998 and 2020 and to compare the changes in a wide range of detailed causes of death between 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and the previous year in Korea.
Methods
We used registered population and mortality data for the years 1998–2020 obtained from Statistics Korea. The age-standardized all-cause mortality rate and the annual percent change between 1998 and 2020 were determined. The rate ratio and rate difference of the age-standardized mortality rate were calculated between 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Results
The age-standardized all-cause mortality rate in Korea has been on a downward trend since 1998, and the decline continued in 2020. In 2020, 950 people died from COVID-19, accounting for 0.3% of all deaths. Mortality was decreased for most causes of death; however, the number of deaths attributed to sepsis and aspiration pneumonia increased between 2019 and 2020 for both men and women. Age-specific mortality rates were decreased or stable between 2019 and 2020 for all age groups, except women aged 25-29. This increase was mainly attributed to an increase in suicide deaths.
Conclusions
This study shed light on the issues of sepsis and aspiration pneumonia despite the successful response to COVID-19 in Korea in 2020. The causes of death from sepsis and aspiration pneumonia should be identified and monitored. In addition, it is necessary to develop a proactive policy to address suicide among young people, especially young women.
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Effect of socioeconomic disparities on the risk of COVID-19 in eight metropolitan cities, the Republic of Korea: a community-based study
Myung-Jae Hwang, Shin Young Park, Tae-Ho Yoon, Jinhwa Jang, Seon-Young Lee, Myeongsu Yoo, Yoo-Yeon Kim, Hae-Kwan Cheong, Donghyok Kwon, Jong-Hun Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2022107.   Published online November 15, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022107    [Accepted]
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Abstract
Objectives
Socioeconomic disparities have been reported as the main risk factors contributing to the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the community level. We conducted an epidemiological study on the risk of COVID-19 incidence using area deprivation indices (DIs) depending on the characteristics of the susceptible population.
Methods
The database of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in eight metropolitan cities, the Republic of Korea, from January 20, 2020 to December 31, 2021, was combined with the area DIs and standardized prevalence of diabetes and hypertension from the community health survey. The relative risk (RR) was estimated using a generalized linear model with Poisson distribution by age group.
Results
The risk of COVID-19 incidence increased with the increasing age group, especially in patients aged ≥75 years. The RR per interquartile range increment of total social deprivation index (total SDI) was 1.54 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.34–1.70) in the COVID-19 incidence. Especially, the risk of COVID-19 incidence in the first wave was about three times higher in the region belonging to the lowest socioeconomic status than in the region with the highest socioeconomic status. The risk was 3.08 (95% CI: 2.42 to 3.78) based on the total SDI and 3.13 (95% CI: 2.53 to 3.83) based on the social deprivation index.
Conclusions
This study provides scientific evidence that socioeconomic inequity is an important risk factor for the spread of COVID-19. This finding suggests that a mid-to-long-term strategy is needed for the susceptible population to reduce the burden of COVID-19 in the community.
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Perceived usefulness of COVID-19 tools for contact tracing among contact tracers in Korea
Seonyeong Gong, Jong Youn Moon, Jaehun Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2022;e2022106.   Published online November 15, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022106    [Accepted]
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AbstractAbstract
Abstract
Objectives
In Korea, contact tracing for coronavirus disease 2019 is conducted using the information from credit card records, handwritten visitor logs, KI-Pass (QR code), and Safe Call after an interview. We aimed to assess the usefulness of these tools for contact tracing.
Methods
The 2 months (July to September 2021) long anonymous online survey was conducted. Contact tracers from throughout Korea were included as the participants. The questionnaire consisted of 4 parts: 1) demographic characteristics, 2) usefulness of each tool for contact tracing, 3) order in which information is checked during contact tracing, and 4) match rate between tools for contact tracing, screening test rate, response rate, and helpfulness (rated on a Likert scale).
Results
A total of 190 individuals participated in the survey. When asked to rate the usefulness of each tool for contact tracing on a Likert scale, most respondents (86%) provided positive response for “credit card records”, while the most common response for “handwritten visitor logs” was negative. The actual helpfulness of positive response was KI-Pass (91%), Credit card records (83%), Safe Call (78%), and Handwritten visitor logs (22%).
Conclusions
Over 80% of participants provided positive responses to credit card records, KI-Pass, and Safe Call data, while approximately 50% provided negative responses regarding the usefulness of handwritten visitor logs. Our findings highlight the need to unify systems for contact tracing performed after an interview to increase their convenience for contact tracers, as well as the need to improve tools that utilize handwritten visitor logs for digitally vulnerable groups.
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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health