Clinical Endocrinology

Nationwide survey of acromegaly in South Korea

Authors

  • Obin Kwon,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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    • Both authors equally contributed to this work as the first authors.
  • Young Duk Song,

    1. Department of Endocrinology, National Health Insurance Cooperation Ilsan Hospital, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
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    • Both authors equally contributed to this work as the first authors.
  • Seong Yeon Kim,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Eun Jig Lee,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Rare Disease Study Group, Science and Research Committee, Korean Endocrine Society


Correspondence: Eun Jig Lee, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Korea. Tel.: +82 2 2228 1983; Fax: +82 2 393 6884; E-mail: ejlee423@yuhs.ac

Seong Yeon Kim, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 103 Daehangno, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea. Tel.: +82 2 2072 3216; Fax: +82 2 762 9662; E-mail: seongyk@plaza.snu.ac.kr

Summary

Context

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.

Objective

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.

Measurements

Date of diagnosis and treatment, tumour size, pre- and postoperative hormonal level, treatment modality and usage of medication were collected.

Results

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%).

Conclusions

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.

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