Prevalences and Management of Diabetes and Pre-diabetes among Korean Teenagers and Young Adults: Results from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2014

J Korean Med Sci. 2017 Dec;32(12):1984-1990. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2017.32.12.1984.


The rapid increases in childhood obesity and physical inactivity are linked to the incidence of diabetes among young individuals. However, few studies have evaluated the prevalence of diabetes among this population. Therefore, we used Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) data to evaluate the prevalence and management of diabetes and pre-diabetes among young Koreans. We evaluated KNHANES data (2005-2014) from 10-29-year-old individuals. Individuals were considered eligible if they had completed the health examination and the health interview survey, and we excluded individuals with missing data regarding fasting glucose or glycated haemoglobin levels. Among the 100,101 potentially eligible individuals who participated in KNHANES (2005-2014), we included 83,577 (37,677 male and 45,900 female) individuals. The overall prevalences of diabetes and pre-diabetes among 10-19-year-old individuals were 0.2% and 11.9%, respectively. Among 20-29-year-old individuals, the prevalences of diabetes and pre-diabetes were 0.9% and 9.6%, respectively. The overall rates of diabetes awareness during the study period were 36.6% for 10-19-year-old individuals and 50.8% for 20-29-year-old individuals. However, the prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes had noticeably increased at the 2013-2014 KNHANES: 0.6% and 25.9% among 10-19-year-old individuals, and 0.8% and 19.2% among 20-29-year-old individuals. The prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes is rapidly increasing among Korean teenagers and young adults. Pre-emptive interventions to diagnose and treat diabetes and pre-diabetes are needed to improve glycaemic control among this population.

Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus; Epidemiology; Health Care Surveys; Prediabetic State.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prediabetic State / drug therapy
  • Prediabetic State / epidemiology*
  • Prediabetic State / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human