It was previously reported in Korea that there were 1·4 case per million per year of acromegaly. This was low in comparison with the extrapolated values of Western European countries. We expected that the incidence of acromegaly would be much higher now because of recently improved medical facilities, diagnostic tools and coverage of medical insurance to all the population of South Korea.
The purpose of this nationwide survey was to examine the incidence and prevalence of patients with acromegaly, mode of treatment and outcome of surgical treatment of recent 5 years.
Design and patients
We requested and collected the medical records of all possible patients with acromegaly from 74 secondary or tertiary medical institutes in Korea from 2003 to 2007 retrospectively.
Date of diagnosis and treatment, tumour size, pre- and postoperative hormonal level, treatment modality and usage of medication were collected.
During 5 years, 1350 patients with acromegaly had been registered. The average annual incidence was 3·9 cases per million during this period, and prevalence had increased up to 27·9 cases per million in 2007. Male/female ratio was 1:1·2, and mean age at diagnosis was 44·1 years. Macroadenoma was dominant (82·9%). Transsphenoidal adenoidectomy was used the most as primary treatment (90·4%).
This Korean acromegaly survey offers a realistic overview of the predominant epidemiological characteristics of acromegaly in Korea. Annual incidence was at a similar level with western countries. Efforts to diagnose and control the disease earlier are recommended.