In the Spine Research Institute and the Jaseng Oriental Medical Joint Hospital (Director Inhyuk Ha), a research team led by Dr. Min Tae-woon characteristics of tinnitus patients in Korea and medical utilization status using data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service between January 2010 and December 2018 announced on the 19th that it was published in the August issue of ‘Healthcare (IF =2.194)’, an international academic journal at SCI(E) level.
Tinnitus, experienced by approximately 740 million adults worldwide, refers to the symptom of sound recognition even in the absence of external stimuli. A phenomenon caused by abnormal hypersensitivity of the sound-sensing nerve pathways, such as wind noise or mechanical sounds in one or both ears.
The most common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss due to ageing, and it is one of the most common diseases that everyone experiences at least once as they get older. In particular, the importance of hearing management is increasing as the number of patients with tinnitus has recently increased due to the habit of using earphones, city noise, and stress.
In fact, the number of patients with tinnitus, the number of medical claims, and medical expenses show an increasing trend every year. As a result, the need to record the most recent medical status for tinnitus is increasing.
Accordingly, the research team collected 94,323 samples from patients diagnosed with tinnitus (morbidity and disease classification code: H93. Individuals were selected as study subjects.
According to the results of examining the demographic characteristics of tinnitus patients, the number of cases was 1.4 times higher in women, with 39,495 men and 54,828 women. The age group was 55-64 years old (22.68%), 65-74 years old (20.6%), 45-54 years old (18.95%), and the proportion of middle-aged people reached 62.23%.
The research team also analyzed the medical history of patients with tinnitus. As a result, the number of patients visiting medical institutions with tinnitus increased from 32,791 cases in 2010 to 37,744 cases in 2018. The average expenditure per patient also increased 1.7 times, from $52.85 in 2010 to $93.96 in 2018.
In particular, it was found that the total cost of treatment doubled from $552.81 in 2010 to $1,117,84 in 2018. This is in line with the pattern that the cost of treating tinnitus has doubled from approximately 14.3 billion won in 2010 to approximately 28.7 billion earned in 2018 published in the Health Insurance Statistical Yearbook based on health insurance topics, confirming that the sample group represents the characteristics of the sample group well. population.
Then, as a result of calculating the average total medical cost of each medical institution for the treatment of tinnitus for 9 years, the consultation fee ($328,971), the examination fee ($249,171), and the treatment cost ($124,039) were found to be the highest. In the case of oriental medical institutions, the treatment cost was the highest at $1284, showing a tendency to focus on treating and relieving the patient’s symptoms, followed by the consultation fee ($82,178).
On the other hand, medical institutions made efforts to examine the patient’s condition precisely, and the examination fee ($249,171) and consultation fee ($246,793) accounted for a large proportion. In addition, the most frequently performed items in each medical institution were acupuncture treatment (203,723 cases) in the case of oriental medicine, and detailed examination (141,201 cases) in the medical department.
In addition, the research team looked at the trend of the drugs used for tinnitus. It was analyzed that the most frequently prescribed drug was a blood circulation drug, but the number of blood circulation drugs used showed a decreasing trend every year. On the other hand, the number of prescriptions for tinnitus treatment increased 3.5 times as the therapeutic effect of Ginkgo biloba extract, used as one of the main ingredients for tinnitus treatment, was revealed. The number of prescriptions for dizziness drugs also increased 12.5 times, along with the results of a study that found a link between vertigo and tinnitus.
“This study is significant as it suggests the direction for the health policy benefits system by analyzing sample data for domestic tinnitus patients,” said Taewoon Min, a doctor of oriental medicine at the Spine Hospital and r Jaseng Oriental Joint Research Institute, first author of the Given that a national study on the status of the use of oriental medicine and medical institutions for tinnitus patients has not been carried out so far, it can be used as a reference for the treatment and management of tinnitus patients in the future. “