Biomolecules & Therapeutics
Comparing Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factors in Asian Migrants and Native Koreans among the Asian Population
Heng Piao1,2, Jae Moon Yun2, Aesun Shin3,4, Belong Cho2,5,* and Daehee Kang1,3,4,*
1The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Henan Cancer Hospital, Zhengzhou 450008, China
2Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080,
3Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080,
4Department of Innovative Medical Sciences, Seoul National University Graduate School, Seoul 03080,
5Health Promotion Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul 03080, Republic of Korea
*E-mail: (Kang D), (Cho B)
Tel: +82-10-6308-8326, +86-133-1433-6468 (Kang D), +82-2-2072-2195 (Cho B)
Fax: +86-371-6596-1505 (Kang D), +82-2-766-3276 (Cho B)
Received: March 12, 2022; Revised: June 8, 2022; Accepted: June 15, 2022; Published online: August 31, 2022.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Assessing the health of international migrants is crucial in the Republic of Korea, Asia, and even worldwide. We compared the risk factors for non-communicable diseases among Asian migrants in Korea and the Korean population. This cross-sectional (2015) and longitudinal (2009-2015) observational study comprised a population-wide analysis spanning 2009 to 2015. Asian migrants (n=987,214) in Korea and Korean nationals (n=1,693,281) aged ≥20 were included. The Asian migrants were classified as Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, and other. The prevalence of risk factors for non-communicable diseases (current smoking, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension) were analyzed. Regarding the age-adjusted prevalence, direct age standardization was conducted separately by sex using 10-year age bands; the World Standard Population was used as the standard population. Among the participants aged ≥20, the age-adjusted prevalence of current smoking was higher among Chinese and other Asian migrant men than among Korean men and women (p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively). The age-adjusted prevalence of obesity was higher among Chinese, Filipino, and other Asian migrant women than in Korean women (p<0.001, p=0.002, and p<0.001, respectively). Among the participants aged 20-49, the age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes mellitus and hypertension was higher in Filipino migrant women than in Korean women (p=0.009 and p<0.001, respectively). Current rates of smoking and obesity were worse among Asian migrants of specific nationalities than among native Koreans. The health inequalities among Filipino migrant women in Korea, especially those aged 20-49, should be addressed.
Keywords: Obesity, Current smoking, Asian migrant, Korean, Filipino migrant women, National database

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