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‘Men, women attempt suicide for different reasons’
  • By Constance Williams
  • Published 2017.08.31 10:52
  • Updated 2017.08.31 10:52
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Korean men and women had different reasons for attempting a suicide, a study by a Yonsei University research team revealed on Thursday.

Men have been or are currently suffering from cancer are more at risk of suicide, while women with high levels of stress, according to the study.

The common risk factors among both men and women for attempting a suicide included low-level educational background and depression.

Korea is notorious for its high suicide rate. Among OECD members, Korea has the highest number of 28.4 people committing suicide per 100,000. Recently, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has been exerting more efforts to prevent suicide and set up the “Suicide Prevention Division.”

Professor Kim Deok-won

Professor Kim Deok-won김덕원 of the Yonsei University College of Medicine연세대학교 의과대학 and Professor Lee Wan-hyung이완형 of the College of Health tracked 6,358 people aged over 20 who had said that they had thought about committing suicide from 2007 to 2012, based on the data of the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). Later, 106 out of 1,567 males (6.8 percent) actually attempted suicide and 188 (5 percent) out of 3,726 females.

The study found that men who have had cancer or who are currently suffering from cancer were 2.4 times more likely to commit suicide than men without such burden. On the other hand, women who were extremely stressed out were 3.6 times more likely to commit suicide than women who were not.

The researchers also found that the lower the level of academic ability, the higher the probability of suicide attempt.

Also, those who received government subsidy due to financial problems had a 1.8 times higher probability of attempting suicide than those who didn’t.

Unlike men, smoking also affected suicide attempts for women. Women who smoke have a 2.3-fold higher chance of attempting suicide than women who do not smoke, the study said.

"This study involved high-risk patients who thought of suicide rather than the general public, and put more focus on the risk factors that caused them to attempt actual suicide," said Kim.

Professor Kim Kyung-ran김경란 of Severance Hospital브란스병원 and the Department of Mental Health세 정신건강의학과 added that the study could "help prevent suicide more effectively through appropriate treatment and tailored management according to the individual risk factors."


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