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Open AccessArticle

Suicide Trends over Time by Occupation in Korea and Their Relationship to Economic Downturns

1
Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 03722, Korea
2
The Institute for Occupational Health, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 03722, Korea
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Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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Department of Global Economics, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul 03063, Korea
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Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2007; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112007
Received: 6 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Mental Health Research in Asia Pacific Region)
We analyzed suicide mortality by occupation using administrative data from 1993 to 2016. Methods: National death records from 1993 to 2016 of the Korea National Statistical Office (KNSO) were used. Suicidal death was taken from Korean Classification of Disease codes as intentional self-harm (X60–X84) and sequelae of intentional self-harm (Y870). Occupational groups were categorized into “Manager,” “Officer,” ”Service-Trade,” “Agricultural-Fishery-Forestry” (AFF), “Skilled Manual,” and “Unskilled Manual.” Direct standardized mortality (DSM) and standardized mortality ratio (SMR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated. Overall, suicide rates increased during economic downturns, especially among lower socio-economic occupation classes. Both DSM and SMR were highest in AFF, followed by Unskilled Manual, Service-Trade, Officer, Skilled Manual, and Manager categories among men, whereas women showed the highest DSM and SMR in AFF, followed by Service-Trade, Officer, Unskilled Manual, Manager, and Skilled Manual categories. The age-stratified analysis showed that age groups with increasing trends in suicide differed according to occupation and gender. In certain occupational groups, the time-point prevalence fluctuated with socio-economic background in suicidal mortality and differed by age and gender. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide; occupations; economics suicide; occupations; economics
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Yoon, J.-H.; Jung, S.J.; Choi, J.; Kang, M.-Y. Suicide Trends over Time by Occupation in Korea and Their Relationship to Economic Downturns. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2007.

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