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Original Research

Open Access

Analysis of Characteristics, Methods of Suicide, and Clinical Outcomes in Elderly Suicide Attempters in South Korea by Age Subgroup

  • Jae Hee Lee1
  • Duk Hee Lee1

1Department of Emergency Medicine, College of medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2020.16.0065 Vol.16,Issue 2,October 2020 pp.52-60

Published: 28 October 2020

*Corresponding Author(s): Duk Hee Lee E-mail:


Introduction: As the elderly comprise 14.3% of the South Korean population, suicide among the elderly has become a significant public concern. Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed data from the Emergency Department-Based Injury In-depth Surveillance nationwide of South Korea. Patients aged ≥ 65years old who intentionally caused self-injury were included. These elderly patients were subdivided into age groups, and their associated characteristics and correlation between suicide attempt methods and the clinical outcomes were analyzed. Results: A total of 5,333 cases were analyzed. The mean age of the subjects was 75.1 years old, comprising 3,039 males (57.0%) and 2,294 females (43.0%). Substance exposure was the most frequent method across all age groups. In terms of risk factors of admission, drowning, hanging, and asphyxia showed the following results: OR 2.372 for the first group; OR 2.224 for the second group; and OR 5.606 for the third group. Fall/slip was identified as a risk factor of admission in the first and second groups (OR 5.016 for the first group; OR 5.101 for the second group). In terms of risk factors of mortality, drowning, hanging, and asphyxia showed the following results: OR 9.066 for the first group; OR 7.320 for the second group; and OR 7.135 for the third group. With regard to fall/slip, the results were OR 14.596 for the first group; OR 10.096 for the second group; and OR 24.167 for the third group. Conclusions: This study showed that clinical outcomes were different according to the suicide-related characteristics and chosen suicide method. Based on these results, it is necessary to prepare measures to prevent suicide of the elderly in the future.


Elderly, Emergency department, Suicide attempter, Suicide methods

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Jae Hee Lee,Duk Hee Lee. Analysis of Characteristics, Methods of Suicide, and Clinical Outcomes in Elderly Suicide Attempters in South Korea by Age Subgroup. Signa Vitae. 2020. 16(2);52-60.


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