Osong Public Health Res Perspect.  2021 Oct;12(5):314-323. 10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0208.

Analysis of risk factors affecting suicidal ideation in South Korea by life cycle stage

  • 1Community Health Survey Team, Dongguk University, Gyeongju, Korea
  • 2Department of Healthcare Management, Dong-eui University, Busan, Korea


This study analyzed risk factors for suicidal ideation in South Koreans from a life cycle perspective.
A secondary analysis was conducted of data collected in 2015 as part of the 6th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). The participants comprised 5,935 individuals aged 12 years or older. The statistical analysis reflected the complex sampling design of the KNHANES, and the Rao-Scott chi-square test and multiple logistic regression analysis were performed.
The prevalence of suicidal ideation was 5.7% in adolescents, 3.7% in young adults, 5.4% in middle-aged adults, and 7.0% in older adults. Depression and stress were risk factors in every stage of the life cycle. In those aged 12 to 19 years, activity restrictions were significantly associated with suicidal ideation. Education and subjective health status were risk factors in adults aged 20 to 39 years, and education, activity restrictions, and quality of life were the major risk factors in those aged 40 to 64 years. For adults 65 years of age or older, the risk of suicidal ideation was higher among those with inappropriate sleep time.
The risk factors for suicidal ideation were found to be different across stages of the life cycle. This suggests a need for individualized suicide prevention plans and specific government policies that reflect the characteristics of each life cycle stage.


Life cycle stages; Risk factors; Suicidal ideation
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