Korean J Leg Med.  2014 Nov;38(4):145-154. 10.7580/kjlm.2014.38.4.145.

The Statistical Analysis on Legal Autopsy Performed in Korea during 2013 Year

  • 1Division of Forensic Medicine Investigation, Seoul Institute, National Forensic Service, Seoul, Korea. jsj9600@korea.kr
  • 2Medical Examiner's Office, National Forensic Service, Wonju, Korea.


Medicolegal autopsy is a vital tool for obtaining reliable injury mortality data. This study statistically analyzed data obtained from medicolegal autopsies performed in Korea in 2013. The aim of this study was to analyze various aspects of the 4,861 deaths that were categorized as unusual in Korea in 2013. A total of 4,861 deaths were analyzed by gender, age, manner of death, and cause of death. Of the 4,861 deaths, 3,542 (73.3%) were of men and 1,302 (26.7%) were of women. With respect to the manner of death, 54.4% were recorded as unnatural deaths, 38.8% were natural deaths, and 6.9% had unknown causes. Of the 2,642 unnatural deaths, 45.0% were determined to be accidental deaths, 26.3% suicidal, 16.9% homicidal, and 11.8% undetermined. Of the total number of unnatural deaths, 42.1% were trauma-related deaths, for which falling down accounted for 33.8%. Asphyxiation accounted for 16.0% of unnatural deaths, and of these, the predominant cause was hanging (58.8%). In addition, 14.4% of deaths were due to drowning, 12.9% poisoning, 11.0% thermal injuries, 1.8% complications arising from medical procedures, and 0.8% electrocution, starvation, or neglect. Among the 1,886 natural deaths, heart diseases accounted for 52.0% and vascular diseases accounted for 16.9%. Of the 196 deaths among children under the age of 10 years, 41.8% were recorded as unnatural deaths, 45.1% were natural deaths, and 1.5% had unknown causes.


Autopsy; Cause of death; Statistical data interpretation; Korea
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