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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 2003;25(2): 84-91.
Secular Trends of Suicide Mortality in Korea.
Jongsoon Park, Soonduck Kim, Seonmi Ji, Jesuk Lee
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine,Korea University, Korea. kimsd@korea.ac.kr
This study was conducted to analysis the trends and states of suicide mortality in Korea from 1983 to 2001.
This study was based on data published in 1983-2001 from the annual report of the cause of death statistics of National Statistical Office.
First, both of annual suicide rate and adjusted suicide rate rapidly went up in 1996 and hit the highest in 1998. Second, since 1983 only when the suicide rate was the highest in the ages 20-24 rather than other age groups, the suicides have been continuously shown to be the highest in the old age group. Third, the seasonal percentages of suicides were generally high in spring and summer, the seasons when the percentage of sunshine is relatively high, in both results for men and women. Fourth, men have most frequently committed suicide through hanging while their suicide through falling from a high site have least frequently occurred but currently tends to gradually increase. Meanwhile, women have most frequently done suicide generally by using insecticide.
In Korea, the suicide rate and suicide percentage of the old people have been yearly increasing, and their suicide rate is also shown to the highest rather than those of other age groups. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent the suicide of the old people through a systematic analysis. Moreover, it is necessary to verify the risk factors and defensive factors for the suicide impulse and suicide attempt. On the basis of this, the construction of a nationwide social safety network for the national mental health is very important to find and treat the problems of the mental health to lead the people to suicide.
Keywords: Suicide; epidemiology; trends


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