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Diabetes Mellitus in the Elderly Adults in Korea: Based on Data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2019 to 2020
Seung-Hyun Ko, Kyung Do Han, Yong-Moon Park, Jae-Seung Yun, Kyuho Kim, Jae-Hyun Bae, Hyuk-Sang Kwon, Nan-Hee Kim
Diabetes Metab J. 2023;47(5):643-652.   Published online August 7, 2023
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  • 232 Download
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
We evaluated the prevalence and management of diabetes mellitus (DM) in elderly Korean patients based on data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).
A total of 3,068 adults aged 65 years and older (19.8% of total population) were analyzed using KNHANES from 2019 to 2020. Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control rates, and comorbidities were analyzed. Lifestyle behaviors and energy intake were also measured.
The prevalence of DM and prediabetes was 29.6% and 50.5%, respectively. The awareness, treatment and control rates were 76.4%, 73.3%, and 28.3%, respectively. The control rate was 77.0% if A1C <7.5% criteria was used. The mean A1C value of individuals with known DM was 7.1%, and 14.5% of the known DM patients had A1C ≥8.0%. Abdominal obesity, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia were combined with DM in 63.9%, 71.7%, and 70.7%, respectively, and the rate of integrated management was 36.0% (A1C <7.5% criteria). A total of 40.1% of those with DM walked regularly. The percentage of energy intake from carbohydrates was higher in those with DM than in those without DM (P=0.044), while those of fat (P=0.003) and protein (P=0.025) were lower in those with DM than in those without DM in women.
In 2019 to 2020, three of 10 adults aged 65 years and older in Korea had DM, and approximately 70% of them had comorbidities. A strategy for more individualized comprehensive care for the elderly patients with DM is urgently needed.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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Article image
Diabetes Fact Sheets in Korea, 2018: An Appraisal of Current Status
Bo-Yeon Kim, Jong Chul Won, Jae Hyuk Lee, Hun-Sung Kim, Jung Hwan Park, Kyoung Hwa Ha, Kyu Chang Won, Dae Jung Kim, Kyong Soo Park
Diabetes Metab J. 2019;43(4):487-494.   Published online July 17, 2019
  • 11,674 View
  • 182 Download
  • 98 Web of Science
  • 102 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDFPubReader   

The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence, management, and comorbidities of diabetes among Korean adults aged 30 years and older.


This study used 2013 to 2016 data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally-representative survey of the Korean population. Diabetes was defined as fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dL, current use of antidiabetic medication, a previous history of diabetes, or glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥6.5%.


In 2016, 14.4% (approximately 5.02 million) of Korean adults had diabetes. The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose was 25.3% (8.71 million). From 2013 to 2016, the awareness, control, and treatment rates for diabetes were 62.6%, 56.7%, and 25.1%, respectively. People with diabetes had the following comorbidities: obesity (50.4%), abdominal obesity (47.8%), hypertension (55.3%), and hypercholesterolemia (34.9%). The 25.1%, 68.4%, and 44.2% of people with diabetes achieved HbA1c <6.5%, blood pressure <140/85 mm Hg, and low density lipoprotein cholesterol <100 mg/dL. Only 8.4% of people with diabetes had good control of all three targets.


This study confirms that diabetes is as an important public health problem. Efforts should be made to increase awareness, detection, and comprehensive management of diabetes to reduce diabetes-related morbidity and mortality.


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Diabetes Metab J : Diabetes & Metabolism Journal
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