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Endocrinol Metab : Endocrinology and Metabolism


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Si Eun Kim  (Kim SE) 1 Article
Clinical Study
Characteristics of Body Composition and Muscle Strength of North Korean Refugees during South Korean Stay
Sun Wook Cho, So Hee Lee, Eun Sil Koh, Si Eun Kim, Seok Joong Kim
Endocrinol Metab. 2015;30(4):551-556.   Published online December 31, 2015
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AbstractAbstract PDFPubReader   

The aim of this study was to investigate the changes of body composition and muscle strength of North Korean refugees (NKRs) according to their duration of stay in South Korea.


NKRs who volunteered and were living in South Korea, aged 20 to 75 years were recruited. Body compositions were analyzed by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Muscle strength was measured with the hand grip test. Demographic and migration information was obtained with a questionnaire.


A total of 158 volunteers were recruited at a mean age of 48.3±11.4 years. The mean time from when they escaped from North Korea and arrived in South Korea was 5.8±4.3 years. Height, weight, and body surface area were significantly smaller in all NKRs compared to South Korean controls, except for women aged over 50 years. In females of younger ages (<50 years), NKRs with more than a 4-year stay in South Korea had a higher weight and fat mass than that of those who had a shorter stay (less than 4 years) in South Korea. All NKRs had a weaker grip strength than that of the age-matched controls from South Korea.


The NKRs showed relatively smaller physiques and weaker muscle strength than that of the South Korean controls. In younger female NKRs, shorter South Korean stay group showed small body weight and fat mass than that of longer South Korean stay group. Specific health support programs might be needed.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Assessment of diet quality of adults from North Korea: using nutrition quotient (NQ) for Korean adults
    SaeByeol Kwon, Kyoung-Nam Kim, Moon-Kyung Shin
    Journal of Nutrition and Health.2023; 56(2): 217.     CrossRef
  • Weight Gain Predicts Metabolic Syndrome among North Korean Refugees in South Korea
    Yoon Jung Kim, Yo Han Lee, Yun Jeong Lee, Kyeong Jin Kim, Sin Gon Kim
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.2021; 18(16): 8479.     CrossRef
  • Prevalence of General and Central Obesity and Associated Factors among North Korean Refugees in South Korea by Duration after Defection from North Korea: A Cross-Sectional Study
    Yoon Kim, Sin Kim, Yo Lee
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.2018; 15(4): 811.     CrossRef
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