Trends in educational differentials in suicide mortality between 1993 - 2006 in Korea

Weon Young Lee, Young Ho Khang, Manegseok Noh, Jae In Ryu, Mia Son, Yeon Pyo Hong

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Purpose: This study aims to examine how inequalities in suicide by education changed during and after macroeconomic restructuring following the economic crisis of 1997 in South Korea. Materials and Methods: Using Korea's 1995, 2000, and 2005 census data aggregately linked to mortality data (1993 - 2006), relative and absolute differentials in suicide mortality by education were calculated by gender and age among Korean population aged 35 and over. Results: Average annual suicide mortality rates have steadily increased from 1993 - 1997 to 2003 - 2006 in almost all sociodemographic groups stratified by gender, age, and education. Based on the relative index of inequality (RII) and slope index of inequality (SII), educational differentials in suicide mortality generally increased over time in men and women aged 45 years +. Although RII did not increase with year among men and women aged 35 - 44 years, SII showed a significantly increasing trend in this age group. Conclusion: These worsening absolute inequalities in suicide mortality indicate that the governmental suicide prevention policy should be directed toward socially disadvantaged groups of the Korean population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-492
Number of pages11
JournalYonsei Medical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Korea
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Suicide
  • Trends

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