J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2006 Jun;10(1):14-19.

Suicide in the Korean Elderly

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kosin Universiy College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. cheonjs@mail.kosin.ac.kr

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
The suicide rate has been increasing among the aged Koreans since 1990. However, there is few study on the epidemiology, causes, and strategies to help them.
METHODS
The data were collected by the internet search for the journals and documents of studies on the suicide among aged Koreans from 1995 thru 2006.
RESULTS
1) The suicide rate (36.1 per 100,000) in the Korean elderly with age over 65 has been increasing over 50% since 1998, which estimated as 19.9 times of that in the general population. 2) The biopsychosocial factors possibly related to the elderly suicide in Korea are age, depression, bereavement, physical illness, elder abuse, poor economy and social support system. The poor economy, elder abuse and depression seemed to be the most influential. 3) The rate of the elderly suicide in Korea can be reduced with the active prevention by early detection and intervention of risk factors.
CONCLUSION
The strategy including reduction of risk factors, regional welfare services and policy seems to be needed for the prevention of elderly suicide in Korea.

Keyword

Suicide; Aged Koreans; Poor economy; Elder abuse; Depression
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