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1.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(6): e26784, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197902

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite recent achievements in vaccines, antiviral drugs, and medical infrastructure, the emergence of COVID-19 has posed a serious threat to humans worldwide. Most countries are well connected on a global scale, making it nearly impossible to implement perfect and prompt mitigation strategies for infectious disease outbreaks. In particular, due to the explosive growth of international travel, the complex network of human mobility enabled the rapid spread of COVID-19 globally. OBJECTIVE: South Korea was one of the earliest countries to be affected by COVID-19. In the absence of vaccines and treatments, South Korea has implemented and maintained stringent interventions, such as large-scale epidemiological investigations, rapid diagnosis, social distancing, and prompt clinical classification of severely ill patients with appropriate medical measures. In particular, South Korea has implemented effective airport screenings and quarantine measures. In this study, we aimed to assess the country-specific importation risk of COVID-19 and investigate its impact on the local transmission of COVID-19. METHODS: The country-specific importation risk of COVID-19 in South Korea was assessed. We investigated the relationships between country-specific imported cases, passenger numbers, and the severity of country-specific COVID-19 prevalence from January to October 2020. We assessed the country-specific risk by incorporating country-specific information. A renewal mathematical model was employed, considering both imported and local cases of COVID-19 in South Korea. Furthermore, we estimated the basic and effective reproduction numbers. RESULTS: The risk of importation from China was highest between January and February 2020, while that from North America (the United States and Canada) was high from April to October 2020. The R0 was estimated at 1.87 (95% CI 1.47-2.34), using the rate of α=0.07 for secondary transmission caused by imported cases. The Rt was estimated in South Korea and in both Seoul and Gyeonggi. CONCLUSIONS: A statistical model accounting for imported and locally transmitted cases was employed to estimate R0 and Rt. Our results indicated that the prompt implementation of airport screening measures (contact tracing with case isolation and quarantine) successfully reduced local transmission caused by imported cases despite passengers arriving from high-risk countries throughout the year. Moreover, various mitigation interventions, including social distancing and travel restrictions within South Korea, have been effectively implemented to reduce the spread of local cases in South Korea.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Diseases, Imported/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Statistical , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Risk Assessment
3.
Yonsei Med J ; 63(12): 1121-1129, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141690

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) outcomes in South Korea, we conducted systematic review and meta-analysis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MEDLINE, Embase, KoreaMed, and Korean Information Service System databases were searched up to June 2022. We included observational studies and letters on OHCA during the COVID-19 pandemic and compared them to those before the pandemic. Epidemiologic characteristics, including at-home OHCA, bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation, unwitnessed arrest, use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), shockable cardiac rhythm, and airway management, were evaluated. Survival and favorable neurological outcomes were extracted. We conducted a meta-analysis of each characteristic and outcome. RESULTS: Six studies including 4628 OHCA patients were included in this study. The incidence of at-home OHCA significantly increased and the AED use decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to before the pandemic [odds ratio (OR), 1.29; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.08-1.55; I²=0% and OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.57-0.97; I²=0%, respectively]. Return of spontaneous circulation after OHCA, survival, and favorable neurological outcomes during and before the pandemic did not differ significantly (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.71-1.13; I²=37%; OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.43-1.26; I²=72%; OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.43-1.37; I²=70%, respectively). CONCLUSION: During the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea, the incidence of at-home OHCA increased and AED use decreased among OHCA patients. However, survival and favorable neurological outcomes did not significantly differ from before the pandemic. This insignificant effect of the pandemic on OHCA in South Korea could be attributed to the slow increase in patient count in the early days of the pandemic. OSF Registry (DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/UGE9D).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/epidemiology , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/therapy , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
4.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(10): e29379, 2021 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141335

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Basic studies suggest that statins as add-on therapy may benefit patients with COVID-19; however, real-world evidence of such a beneficial association is lacking. OBJECTIVE: We investigated differences in SARS-CoV-2 test positivity and clinical outcomes of COVID-19 (composite endpoint: admission to intensive care unit, invasive ventilation, or death) between statin users and nonusers. METHODS: Two independent population-based cohorts were analyzed, and we investigated the differences in SARS-CoV-2 test positivity and severe clinical outcomes of COVID-19, such as admission to the intensive care unit, invasive ventilation, or death, between statin users and nonusers. One group comprised an unmatched cohort of 214,207 patients who underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing from the Global Research Collaboration Project (GRCP)-COVID cohort, and the other group comprised an unmatched cohort of 74,866 patients who underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing from the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS)-COVID cohort. RESULTS: The GRCP-COVID cohort with propensity score matching had 29,701 statin users and 29,701 matched nonusers. The SARS-CoV-2 test positivity rate was not associated with statin use (statin users, 2.82% [837/29,701]; nonusers, 2.65% [787/29,701]; adjusted relative risk [aRR] 0.97; 95% CI 0.88-1.07). Among patients with confirmed COVID-19 in the GRCP-COVID cohort, 804 were statin users and 1573 were matched nonusers. Statin users were associated with a decreased likelihood of severe clinical outcomes (statin users, 3.98% [32/804]; nonusers, 5.40% [85/1573]; aRR 0.62; 95% CI 0.41-0.91) and length of hospital stay (statin users, 23.8 days; nonusers, 26.3 days; adjusted mean difference -2.87; 95% CI -5.68 to -0.93) than nonusers. The results of the NHIS-COVID cohort were similar to the primary results of the GRCP-COVID cohort. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that prior statin use is related to a decreased risk of worsening clinical outcomes of COVID-19 and length of hospital stay but not to that of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Young Adult
5.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e20699, 2021 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141282

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Daily new COVID-19 cases from January to April 2020 demonstrate varying patterns of SARS-CoV-2 transmission across different geographical regions. Constant infection rates were observed in some countries, whereas China and South Korea had a very low number of daily new cases. In fact, China and South Korea successfully and quickly flattened their COVID-19 curve. To understand why this was the case, this paper investigated possible aerosol-forming patterns in the atmosphere and their relationship to the policy measures adopted by select countries. OBJECTIVE: The main research objective was to compare the outcomes of policies adopted by countries between January and April 2020. Policies included physical distancing measures that in some cases were associated with mask use and city disinfection. We investigated whether the type of social distancing framework adopted by some countries (ie, without mask use and city disinfection) led to the continual dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 (daily new cases) in the community during the study period. METHODS: We examined the policies used as a preventive framework for virus community transmission in some countries and compared them to the policies adopted by China and South Korea. Countries that used a policy of social distancing by 1-2 m were divided into two groups. The first group consisted of countries that implemented social distancing (1-2 m) only, and the second comprised China and South Korea, which implemented distancing with additional transmission/isolation measures using masks and city disinfection. Global daily case maps from Johns Hopkins University were used to provide time-series data for the analysis. RESULTS: The results showed that virus transmission was reduced due to policies affecting SARS-CoV-2 propagation over time. Remarkably, China and South Korea obtained substantially better results than other countries at the beginning of the epidemic due to their adoption of social distancing (1-2 m) with the additional use of masks and sanitization (city disinfection). These measures proved to be effective due to the atmosphere carrier potential of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that social distancing by 1-2 m with mask use and city disinfection yields positive outcomes. These strategies should be incorporated into prevention and control policies and be adopted both globally and by individuals as a method to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Policy , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Cities/epidemiology , Disinfection , Global Health , Humans , Masks , Physical Distancing , Policy Making , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
6.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(1): e20236, 2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141281

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and it has since spread worldwide. The Association of Korean Medicine (AKOM) established the COVID-19 telemedicine center of Korean medicine (KM telemedicine center) in Daegu and Seoul. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the results of the KM telemedicine center and the clinical possibility of using herbal medicines for COVID-19. METHODS: All procedures were conducted by voice call following standardized guidelines. The students in the reception group obtained informed consent from participants and they collected basic information. Subsequently, Korean Medicine doctors assessed COVID-19-related symptoms and prescribed the appropriate herbal medicine according to the KM telemedicine guidelines. The data of patients who completed the program by June 30, 2020, were analyzed. RESULTS: From March 9 to June 30, 2020, 2324 patients participated in and completed the KM telemedicine program. Kyung-Ok-Ko (n=2285) was the most prescribed herbal medicine, and Qingfei Paidu decoction (I and II, n=2053) was the second most prescribed. All COVID-19-related symptoms (headache, chills, sputum, dry cough, sore throat, fatigue, muscle pain, rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, dyspnea, chest tightness, diarrhea, and loss of appetite) improved after treatment (P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: The KM telemedicine center has provided medical service to 10.8% of all patients with COVID-19 in South Korea (as of June 30, 2020), and it is still in operation. We hope that this study will help to establish a better health care system to overcome COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/therapeutic use , Telemedicine , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Young Adult
7.
Epidemiol Infect ; 150: e194, 2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2133087

ABSTRACT

Identification of geographical areas with high burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in schools using spatial analyses has become an important tool to guide targeted interventions in educational setting. In this study, we aimed to explore the spatial distribution and determinants of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among students aged 3-18 years in South Korea. We analysed the nationwide epidemiological data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools and in the communities between January 2020 and October 2021 in South Korea. To explore the spatial distribution, the global Moran's I and Getis-Ord's G using incidence rates among the districts of aged 3-18 years and 30-59 years. Spatial regression analysis was performed to find sociodemographic predictors of the COVID-19 attack rate in schools and in the communities. The global spatial correlation estimated by Moran's I was 0.647 for the community population and 0.350 for the student population, suggesting that the students were spatially less correlated than the community-level outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. In schools, attack rate of adults aged 30-59 years in the community was associated with increased risk of transmission (P < 0.0001). Number of students per class (in kindergartens, primary schools, middle schools and high schools) did not show significant association with the school transmission of SARS-CoV-2. In South Korea, COVID-19 in students had spatial variations across the country. Statistically significant high hotspots of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among students were found in the capital area, with dense population level and high COVID-19 burden among adults aged 30-59 years. Our finding suggests that controlling community-level burden of COVID-19 can help in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in school-aged children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Child , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Students , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110108

ABSTRACT

In Korea, wearing masks in public places has become the norm during the prolonged coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This cross-sectional study investigated the mask-wearing behavior of Koreans (n = 433) via online mode living in Seoul and Gwangju after wearing a mask in public spaces for two years due to COVID-19. The respondents selected their face masks based on season, gender, age, occupation, mask-wearing hours, mask filter performance, mask shape, and mask color. The general discomfort caused by wearing a mask was divided into physical and speech discomfort, and it was not correlated with anxiety when not wearing a face mask. Speech discomfort caused by wearing a mask was correlated with general discomfort, clear speech, vocal pain, anxiety, and only-indoor mask-off plans. Anxiety when not wearing a mask appeared to affect both indoor and outdoor mask-off plans. The more uncomfortable and less anxious respondents were when not wearing a mask, the sooner they wanted to discontinue wearing masks indoors and outdoors. It is expected that the use of masks will continue in the future and that there may be differences in the place and time of use of masks in Korea and around the world due to new infectious diseases and fine dust. Facial masks can be worn more comfortably and conveniently if the discomfort and anxiety of wearing a mask are improved by considering various behaviors when wearing a mask in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Pandemics , Seasons
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110095

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the impact of increased depressive feelings during the COVID-19 pandemic on the suicidal behavior of Korean high school students using the 17th Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey (KYRBS). We classified the independent variables into four groups ("no depressive mood and no increase in depressive feelings [group A]", "no depressive mood and increase in depressive feelings [group B]", "depressive mood and no increase in depressive feelings [group C]", and "depressive mood and increase in depressive feelings [group D]"). Compared to group A, group D showed an odds ratio of 18.30 in men and 14.87 in women for suicidal behavior after accounting for demographic and health behavioral characteristics. We found that depressive mood and a relatively short-term increase in depressive feelings had a synergistic effect, rather than an additive one, on suicidal behavior. Based on this result, we claim that an appropriate intervention method is necessary to prevent adolescents' depressive mood from developing into suicidal behavior during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicidal Ideation , Male , Humans , Adolescent , Female , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Risk-Taking , Internet
10.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277016, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119322

ABSTRACT

Social capital (SC) has been documented to effectively reduce the spread of diseases, including COVID-19; however, research pertaining to SC and COVID-19 vaccination in Korea is lacking. This cross-sectional study conducted in the city of Wonju, Gangwon Province, Korea (n = 1,096) examined the differences in COVID-19 vaccine trust and hesitancy considering individual characteristics and investigated the effects of SC on COVID-19 vaccine trust and hesitancy. SC was measured based on 14 items pertaining to social trust, network, and norms. Responses regarding COVID-19 screening history, vaccine trust, and vaccine hesitancy were also assessed. SC scores did not differ between sexes, but differed significantly according to age and household income; thus, adults aged 70-79 years had the highest SC scores, and mean SC score increased significantly with income. COVID-19 vaccine trust differed significantly according to age, average household income, social organization involvement, and SC score. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy differed significantly with age, SC score, and COVID-19 screening history. In univariate logistic regression, age, average household income, social organization involvement, and SC score were significant predictors of vaccine trust; in multivariable analysis, however, the identified predictors were age and SC. In particular, people with an SC score ≥50 were 2.660 times more likely to trust COVID-19 vaccines than those with lower scores. In multivariable analysis, age and SC were significant predictors of vaccine hesitancy. In particular, people with an SC score ≥50 were 1.400 times more likely not to be hesitant about receiving COVID-19 vaccines than people with lower scores. These results indicate that prioritizing policies to increase SC and trust in the government could boost the COVID-19 vaccination rate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Trust , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Parents , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Vaccination , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
11.
Nutrients ; 14(22)2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116113

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to investigate changes in 25(OH)D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) levels and in the vitamin D status of Korean adults before and during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This study compared serum 25(OH)D levels before and after the pandemic in 1483 adults aged 19 years and older who were screened at a university hospital. Subjects were selected only from participants tested in the same season before and after the pandemic. The pre-COVID-19 testing period was from 1 March 2018 to 31 November 2019; the testing period in the COVID-19 era was from 1 June 2020 to 31 November 2021. The mean 25(OH)D level for all participants was 21.4 ± 10.2 ng/mL prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, which increased to 23.6 ± 11.8 ng/mL during the COVID-19 lockdown period (p < 0.001). The increase was particularly dramatic in elderly females (28.8 ± 12.3 ng/mL to 37.7 ± 18.6 ng/mL, p = 0.008). The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency decreased in both males (48.4% to 44.5%, p = 0.005) and females (57.0% to 46.0%, p < 0.001). In conclusion, 25(OH)D levels in Korean adults increased during the COVID-19 era, and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency decreased accordingly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vitamin D Deficiency , Male , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Communicable Disease Control , Vitamin D , Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology , Vitamins , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115943

ABSTRACT

Globally, foreign citizens, particularly ethnic and racial minorities, experienced discrimination and received imbalanced medical services and insufficient economic resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to examine the factors that affect the cultural competence of nursing students. This is descriptive cross-sectional study adheres to Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines. A convenience sample of 235 nursing students from two nursing colleges in D city completed an online Google Forms questionnaire from 9 August to 12 August 2022. The self-report questionnaire included a sociodemographic data form, a cultural intelligence scale, an ethnocentrism scale, a global competence scale, and a cultural competence scale. The mean score of cultural competence was 95.39 ± 15.64 (out of 135 points); cultural competence was significantly positively correlated with cultural intelligence and global competence (p < 0.001), and significantly negatively correlated with ethnocentrism (p < 0.001). The factors that significantly affected cultural competence were cultural intelligence (ß = 0.31, p < 0.001) and global competence (ß = 0.37, p < 0.001). The explanatory power of these effects was 47.3%. To improve the cultural competence of nursing students, it is necessary to develop, apply, and evaluate the results of curriculum and programs that can enhance the cultural intelligence and global competence of nursing students.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Students, Nursing , Humans , Cultural Competency/education , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
13.
J Korean Med Sci ; 37(44): e314, 2022 Nov 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115730

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is often asymptomatic and associated with mild clinical symptoms in children. Social distancing measures have led to a relatively small number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Korea than in other countries in the earlier pandemic phase. Previous seroprevalence studies in Korean adults before the introduction of COVID-19 vaccination campaign have shown a low antibody positivity rate. However, data on COVID-19 seroprevalence in Korean children remained scarce. In this study, we assessed the seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in children in Korea. METHODS: Between December 2020 and March 2021, stratified serum samples were collected from children aged 0-18 years in 17 different regions across the country. The SARS-CoV-2 antibody test was conducted using an electro-chemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) to detect the antibodies against nucleocapsid antigens of SARS-CoV-2. Samples that tested positive using the ECLIA were reflexed to an additional plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) for SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: A total of 1,887 samples were collected. Excluding 21 samples collected from regional medical centers, 1,866 samples were included in the final analysis. Two samples (0.11%) were positive for the antibodies against nucleocapsid antigens of SARS-CoV-2. Both samples were shown to have neutralizing antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 via PRNT. CONCLUSION: After 1 year since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among Korean children was 0.11%, which was lower than the adults (0.52%) in another study conducted during a similar period. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Korea was lower than those of other countries, which was presumed to be the consequence of a very strong social distancing measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Adult , Child , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , COVID-19 Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Nov 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099559

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: this study aimed to examine the user satisfaction and reuse intention of the elderly for neighborhood sports facilities in South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: this study surveyed 386 Korean elderly individuals aged ≥ 65 years, who were users of neighborhood sports facilities, from 1 May to 31 August 2022. A total of 386 questionnaires were used for data analysis, which was carried out using SPSS 23.0 statistical software. Descriptive statistics of the mean, standard deviation, and frequency distribution were used at the descriptive level. Moreover, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Scheffe's post hoc pair-wise comparison analysis, Pearson's correlation coefficient, and multiple regression analysis were used at the inferential level. The significance level of these tests was considered for less than 0.05. RESULTS: the mechanistic and humanistic service factors of neighborhood sports facilities affected user satisfaction and reuse intention. Furthermore, user satisfaction of the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic had a positive effect on reuse intention. CONCLUSION: this study confirmed that the service quality characteristics of neighborhood sports facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic had a positive effect on user satisfaction and intention to continue to exercise among the elderly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intention , Aged , Humans , Personal Satisfaction , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099500

ABSTRACT

The prevalence of allergic diseases has been increasing globally prior to COVID-19. The pandemic resulted in changes in lifestyle and personal habits such as universal mask-wearing and social distancing. However, there is insufficient information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prevalence of allergic conditions such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis. We analyzed the incidence rate for self-reported and doctor-diagnosed cases of allergic diseases of asthma, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis. A total of 15,469 subjects were registered from a national cohort dataset of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Using multiple logistic regression analysis, we calculated the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for each disease in 2020 compared to 2019. Subgroup analyses were performed according to age and sex. There were no statistically significant differences between the incidence of doctor-diagnosed and current allergic diseases in 2019 and 2020 (asthma, p = 0.667 and p = 0.268; atopic dermatitis, p = 0.268 and p = 0.973; allergic rhinitis, p = 0.691 and p = 0.942, respectively), and subgroup analysis showed consistent results. Among the Korean population from 2019 to 2020, the incidence of the allergic diseases asthma, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis did not decrease as expected.


Subject(s)
Asthma , COVID-19 , Dermatitis, Atopic , Rhinitis, Allergic , Adult , Humans , Dermatitis, Atopic/epidemiology , Incidence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Nutrition Surveys , Risk Factors , Rhinitis, Allergic/epidemiology , Asthma/epidemiology , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Prevalence
17.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 18390, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096800

ABSTRACT

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on suicide remains unclear and might differ according to individuals' socioeconomic characteristics. We aimed to investigate excess suicide attributable to COVID-19 in South Korea, stratified by the outbreak period and individual characteristics. We obtained daily time-series suicide mortality data for January 2017-December 2020 from the Korea National Statistics Office and performed a two-stage interrupted time-series analysis. We estimated excess suicide in 16 regions of Korea using a quasi-Poisson time-series regression model and pooled the region-specific estimates using a mixed-effects multivariate meta-analysis model in the first and second stages, respectively. From February 18 to December 31, 2020, suicide decreased by 9.5% [95% empirical confidence interval (eCI): 3.8%, 15.6%] compared to the number expected from the pre-pandemic period. The decrease in excess suicide risk from the initial pandemic was pronounced during the pandemic's first and third waves. Further, we found that the decrease in suicide was more evident in individuals who were male [11.7% (95% eCI: 5.5%, 18.0%)], middle-aged [13.7% (95% eCI: 7.8%, 19.6%)], highly educated [12.6% (95% eCI: 6.4%, 19.4%)], and married [13.6% (95% eCI: 8.0%, 20.3%)] than in the general population, based on the point estimates. Our results provide timely evidence to establish public health policies for suicide prevention and suggest the prioritization of resource allocation for mental health of individuals based on individual characteristics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Middle Aged , Humans , Male , Female , Pandemics , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Time Factors
18.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 17722, 2022 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087283

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to substantial daily life changes for people worldwide. We investigated the association between daily life restrictions and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic based on the Korea Community Health Survey. Daily life restrictions were evaluated using a questionnaire to population into three restriction categories: no/slightly, moderately, and severely. Depression was assessed by the Korean version of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Chi-square tests and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare the demographic characteristics of individuals with and without depression. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between the severity of daily life restrictions and the prevalence of depression. The prevalence of depression was 2.4% in the total population: 5.7% in the severely restricted group and 2.7% in the moderately restricted group. After adjusting for age, sex, educational level, income, marital status, and employment status, the severely restricted group was more likely to have depression than was the no change/slightly restricted group (OR = 2.40, 95% CI 2.16-2.67, p < 0.001). Employers with severely restricted daily life exhibited a higher OR for depression compared to the no/slightly restricted group (OR = 3.24, 95% CI 2.37-4.45, p < 0.001). It is necessary to consider the mental health of vulnerable affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Anxiety/epidemiology
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(20)2022 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082142

ABSTRACT

The aim of this research was to examine the effects of travel expenditures on life satisfaction in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the research, a curvilinear relationship was established between life satisfaction and travel expenditures that was then compared between 2018 and 2020. The study subjects were middle-aged and older adults who completed the 2018 and 2020 waves of the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. Demographic, travel expenditure, and life satisfaction data were collected, and quadratic regression analysis was conducted to examine the effects of travel expenditures on life satisfaction before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first-order condition was computed to determine the optimal level of travel expenditures to maximize life satisfaction, and the results exhibit that the utility of travel expenditure decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Personal Satisfaction , Middle Aged , Humans , Aged , Health Expenditures , Longitudinal Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
20.
Health Qual Life Outcomes ; 20(1): 144, 2022 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079430

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Quarantine is the first response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restricting daily life can cause several problems. This study aimed to measure the impact of the COVID-19 quarantine on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) by comparing to the pre-pandemic. METHODS: HRQoL during COVID-19 quarantine was surveyed online using EQ-5D index and matched to that of the pre-pandemic-extracted from nationwide representative data of the Korea Community Health Survey- with propensity scores. A beta regression for the EQ-5D scores and a logistic analysis for individual dimensions of the EQ-5D index were performed to measure the impact of the COVID-19 quarantine on health utility. RESULTS: The overall scores of the EQ-5D index were significantly higher in the group under quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic (0.971 SD 0.064) than those before the pandemic (0.964 SD 0.079, Diff. 0.007 SD 0.101, p = 0.043). The beta regression for the overall scores of EQ-5D revealed that quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic increased by 52.7% compared to normal life before the outbreak(p = 0.045). Specifically, "Depression/Anxiety" deteriorated significantly during quarantining (OR = 0.62, 95% CI:0.48-0.80). However, "Pain/Discomfort" and "Mobility" significantly improved (OR = 5.37, 95% CI:3.71-7.78 and OR = 2.05, 95% CI:1.11-3.80, respectively). CONCLUSION: Although the world is facing a challenging moment that it has never been through before, mandatory quarantine has served as an experience that provided mental distress but physical comfort in the Korean context.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quality of Life , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Status , Humans , Pandemics , Quarantine , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
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