South Korea - Public Health and Safety

Public Health and Safety

Main article: Health in South Korea

Although life expectancy has increased significantly since 1950, South Korea faces a number of important health-care issues. Foremost is the impact of environmental pollution on an increasingly urbanized population. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, chronic diseases account for the majority of diseases in South Korea, a condition exacerbated by the health care system's focus on treatment rather than prevention. The incidence of chronic disease in South Korea hovers around 24 percent. Approximately 33 percent of all adults smoke. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) rate of prevalence at the end of 2003 was less than 0.1 percent. In 2001 central government expenditures on health care accounted for about 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The suicide rate in the nation was 26 per 100,000 in 2008, the highest in the industrialized world.

Young South Korean males were found to be the tallest in all of East Asia, resulting from healthy living conditions, economic development and changes in food culture.

Based on the Asia-Pacific Advisory Committee on Influenza (APACI), South Korea ranked the highest of influenza vaccination in Asia with 311 vaccines per 1,000 people.

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