PTSD patients increased 45 percent in 5 years

Shim Hyun-tai  Published 2020.06.29  18:23  Updated 2020.06.29 18:23

According to the National Health Insurance Service, the number of post-traumatic stress disorder patients increased by 45 percent in five years. (NHIS)

The number of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Korea has increased by 45 percent in the past five years.

Women in their 20s took up the largest share of Korean PTSD patients, accounting for 23 percent of the total, according to the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS).

PTSD is a psychological disorder in which one experiences a severe event such as war, torture, natural disaster, or accident and feels fear and pain in the event and burns out energy to escape from the feeling. The disorder hurts both individuals and the society, NHIS said.

The number of patients with PTSD has increased by 10.9 percent annually over the past five years. Male patients increased by 7.6 percent, and female patients rose 10.4 percent, indicating women recorded a far steeper growth rate.

By age group, people in their 20s recorded the biggest number with 2,349, followed by 50s with 1,690, and 30s with 1,677 patients. Among women, 1,493 patients in their 20s received medical treatment, followed by the 30s with 1,097 and 50s with 988.

Treatment cost per patient also expanded by 19.3 percent over the five years, or 4.6 percent a year on average.

The hospitalization cost grew by 8 percent a year, from 285 million won ($2,373) in 2015 to 385 million won in 2019. The outpatient treatment expense also increased by an annual average of 2 percent, from 260,000 won to 360,000 won over the period.

“Young adults are more likely to experience serious traumatic events that cause social problems than older people,” said Professor Park Jae-sub of National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital.

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