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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3596261, 9 pages
Research Article

The Economic Burden of Otitis Media in Korea, 2012: A Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Study

1Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2Department of Medical Education and Humanities, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3Department of Pediatrics, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University School of Medicine, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea

Received 11 April 2016; Revised 13 July 2016; Accepted 16 August 2016

Academic Editor: Quintin Pan

Copyright © 2016 Young-Eun Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Otitis media (OM) is a common communicable disease that is associated with a substantial economic burden. However, no Korean studies have evaluated OM-related trends after the introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Purpose. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and economic burden of OM in Korea using nationally representative data. Methods. The burden of OM was estimated nationally representative data such as national health insurance claims data from 2012, based on the prevalence approach and the societal perspective. Results. In 2012, 1,788,303 patients visited medical institutions for treatment of OM, and the prevalence and burden of OM were 3.5% and 497.35 million US dollars, respectively. Patients who were 0–9 years old accounted for 59.7% of the cases and 55.2% of the total cost. Among adults, the total and perpatient costs were highest among 50–59-year-old adults. Direct medical costs and outpatient costs accounted for large proportions of the total cost (86.3% and 88.3%, resp.). Conclusion. The economic burden of OM decreased after the introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. However, OM is still associated with a relatively large burden, especially among adults, and interventions are needed to reduce the burden of OM in this population.