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Suicide Overall and Suicide by Pesticide Rates among South Korean Workers: A 15-Year Population-Based Study

by Yangwoo Kim 1,2, Jeehee Min 1,3 and Soo-Jin Lee 1,3,*
1
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hanyang University Seoul Hospital: Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea
2
Department of Public Health Science, Graduate School of Public Health, and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
3
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4866; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234866
Received: 1 November 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 2 December 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicidal Behavior as a Complex Dynamical System)
Suicide is a major public health concern in South Korea, and self-poisoning by pesticides is one of the common methods of suicide. Pesticide ban policies have been successful for suicide prevention; however, no studies have shown their effect according to occupational groups. The present study analyzed suicide and suicide by pesticide rates among South Korean workers aged 15–64 in 2003–2017, their associations with occupational groups, and the impact of three major economic indices on these factors. Workers in the agriculture, forestry, and fishery industries had relative risks of 5.62 (95% CI: 5.54–5.69) for suicide overall and 25.49 (95% CI: 24.46–26.57) for suicide by pesticide. The real gross domestic product had a positive association with suicide overall only in the last five-year period investigated in this study, and the unemployment rate consistently had a positive association. The economic status and policy for suicide prevention affected suicide and suicide by pesticide rates differently among occupational groups and different time periods. Policy addressing suicidal risk for different occupational groups should be of concern in South Korea. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide rate; suicide by pesticide; occupational group; suicide prevention; South Korea; population-based study suicide rate; suicide by pesticide; occupational group; suicide prevention; South Korea; population-based study
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Kim, Y.; Min, J.; Lee, S.-J. Suicide Overall and Suicide by Pesticide Rates among South Korean Workers: A 15-Year Population-Based Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4866.

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