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A systematic review of English and Korean articles published between 1990 and 2004 and a search of database and various online resources was conducted to determine the prevalences, mortality rates, socioeconomic burden, quality of life, and treatment pattern of asthma in Korean adults and children. Asthma morbidity and mortality in Korea are steadily increasing. The prevalence of asthma in Korea is estimated to be 3.9% and its severity is often underestimated by both physicians and patients. Mortality resulting from chronic lower respiratory diseases including asthma increased from 12.9 to 22.6 deaths per 100,000 of the population between 1992 and 2002. Disease severity, level of control, and symptom state were all found to negatively impact the quality of life of asthmatics. Although international and Korean asthma management guidelines are available, familiarity with and implementation of these guidelines by primary care physicians remain poor.