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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 7938-7948; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707938

Measuring the Environmental Burden of Disease in South Korea: A Population-Based Study

Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-705, Korea
Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, KonKuk University, Seoul 143-729, Korea
Korea Adaptation Center for Climate Change, Korea Environment Institute, Sejong 339-007, Korea
Department of Economics, Economic Research Institute, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 13 April 2015 / Revised: 29 June 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 13 July 2015
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Background: This study attempted to measure the environmental burden of disease by examining mortality and disability rates in South Korea, permitting international comparisons. Methods: Disability-adjusted life years (DALY) was used to analyze data from public records. Years of life lost (YLL) and years lost to disability (YLD) were measured in terms of incidence rate and number of deaths. Attributable risks were based on those for WHO Western Pacific Regions. For air pollution, attributable risk was calculated using local PM10 levels and relative risk. Results: The total Korean environmental burden of disease was 17.98 per 1000 persons and the most serious risk factor was air pollution, at 6.89per1000 persons. Occupation was the second highest contributing factor, at 3.29 per 1000 persons, followed by indoor air pollution at 2.91 per 1000 persons. The DALY of air-pollution (indoor and outdoor) was 9.80 per 1000 persons, accounting for more than half of the total environmental burden of disease. The burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and asthma were 4.07, 3.16, and 1.96 per 1000 persons, respectively. Conclusions: Respiratory illnesses comprised most of the disease burden, the majority of which was linked to air pollution. The present results are important as they could be used to make evidence-based decisions regarding the management of diseases and environmental-risk factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental disease; environmental burden of disease; environmental risk factors; DALY environmental disease; environmental burden of disease; environmental risk factors; DALY

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yoon, S.-J.; Kim, H.-S.; Ha, J.; Kim, E.-J. Measuring the Environmental Burden of Disease in South Korea: A Population-Based Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 7938-7948.

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