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Open AccessArticle

Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Suicide Mortality in South Korea, 1992–2015

College of Nursing, Eulji University, Daejeon 34824, Korea
Department of Preventive Medicine, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon 34824, Korea
Laboratory of Genome Epidemiology and Health Big Data, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea
Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41944, Korea
Department of Medical IT and Marketing, College of Health Industry, Eulji University, Seongnam 34824, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1580;
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
PDF [911 KB, uploaded 25 July 2018]


Although the effects of age, period, and cohort (APC) on suicide are important, previous work in this area may have been invalid because of an identification problem. We analyzed these effects under three different scenarios to identify vulnerable groups and thus overcame the identification problem. We extracted the annual numbers of suicides from the National Death Register of Korea (1992–2015) and estimated the APC effects. The annual average suicide rates in 1992–2015 were 31.5 and 14.7 per 100,000 males and females, respectively. The APC effects on suicide were similar in both sexes. The age effect was clearly higher in older subjects, in contrast to the minimal changes apparent during earlier adulthood. The birth cohort effect showed an inverted U shape; a higher cohort effect was evident in females born in the early 1980s when period drift was larger than 3.7%/year. Period effect increased sharply during the early 1990s and 2000s. We found that elderly and young females may be at a particularly high risk of suicide in Korea. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide; age; period; and cohort effects; identification problem; Korea suicide; age; period; and cohort effects; identification problem; Korea

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Park, S.; Song, Y.-J.; Kim, J.; Ki, M.; Shin, J.-Y.; Kwon, Y.-M.; Lim, J. Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Suicide Mortality in South Korea, 1992–2015. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1580.

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