The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and the common type of malignancies in Korean patients with polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) and to evaluate the differences of clinical and laboratory findings between patients with malignancy and those without malignancy. Forty-one Korean patients, who were diagnosed as PM or DM, were enrolled in this study. They fulfilled the Bohan and Peter's criteria for a definite diagnosis of PM and DM. Patients with PM were 25 and those with DM were 16. Eleven out of 41 patients (26.8%) had malignancies. The malignancy was diagnosed simultaneously or later in 81.8% of patients with inflammatory myopathy (IM). The breast cancer was the most common malignancy. In this study, forty three years old as a screening age for malignancy had 88.9% sensitivity and 50.2% specificity. The serum levels of creatine kinase (CK) were significantly lower in patients with malignancy than those without malignancy.