social determinants of health; population health; burden of disease; sociodemographic index; disability-adjusted life years; South Korea
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, vol. 17, no. 16, pp. 1 - 8
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH
The sociodemographic index (SDI), a composite index per capita income, educational attainment, and total fertility rate in a country, can indicate whether the country’s burden of disease varies depending upon its level of socioeconomic development. This study identified the subnational SDI and disease burden of South Korea based on the country’s overall SDI, using national representative data. The burden of disease was measured using disability-adjusted life years (DALY) with an incidence-based approach. We used National Health Insurance Services claims data to estimate the years lived with disability (YLD) and cause-of-death statistics to estimate the years of life lost (YLL). Indicators of subnational SDI were also extracted. The Korean subnational SDIs for 250 regions were correlated with YLL, YLD, and DALY for the year 2016. The correlation between SDI and YLL was stronger in big cities than in medium areas and small areas. Moreover, the higher the SDI, the higher the coefficient. The SDI should be used as a standard for interpreting and comparing regions’ disease burden at the subnational level.