SEOUL, April 14 (Korea Bizwire) — An increasing number of South Koreans are experiencing panic attacks, particularly those in their 40s and 50s, the national health insurance operator said Thursday.
Data compiled by the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) showed that 200,540 individuals were treated for panic attacks in 2021, a 44.5 percent increase from 2017.
The cost of treatment borne by the national health insurance jumped to 91 billion won (US$69.8 million), an 83.5 percent increase.
Among patients, those in their 40s accounted for the highest percentage (23.4 percent), followed by those in their 50s (19.2 percent), 30s (18.3 percent), 20s (14.3 percent), and 60s (13.3 percent).
Panic attacks were most common among men and women in their 40s, with men experiencing them slightly more frequently (25.4 percent) than women (21.8 percent).
“Those in their 40s are frequently exposed to social and economic stress, which puts them at high risk of panic attacks,” said Park Jae-sup, a professor of psychiatry at NHIS Ilsan Hospital.
“They seek treatment for panic attacks as they go to the hospital for other health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.”
The NHIS stated that panic attacks usually occur when a person becomes extremely sensitive due to stress, physical illness, overwork, or consumption of alcohol or caffeine.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)