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Original Research

Open Access

Association between alcohol consumption and severity of self-harm behaviors based on suicidal intent in patients admitted to the emergency department for self-harm

  • Dongjun Seo1
  • Jung Il Lee2
  • Duk Hee Lee3,*,†,
  • Hye Jin Kim1,*,†,

1Department of Emergency medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, 01757 Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Korea University Guro Hospital 08308 Seoul, Republic of Korea

3Department of Emergency Medicine, College of medicine, Ewha Womans University, 07985 Seoul, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2023.010 Vol.19,Issue 3,May 2023 pp.173-181

Submitted: 07 April 2022 Accepted: 16 June 2022

Published: 08 May 2023

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

† These authors contributed equally.


This study aimed to investigate the association between alcohol consumption and the severity of self-harm behaviors based on the suicidal intents of patients admitted to the emergency department (ED) for self-harm. This was a retrospective study on patients admitted to the ED between March 2017 and December 2020 owing to self-harm behaviors and were grouped into a suicide attempt (SA) and non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH) group. A total of 642 (73.5%) and 232 (26.5%) patients were classified into SA and NSSH groups, respectively. In the SA group, 270 (42.1%) patients reported consuming alcohol, which was independently associated with ≥12 years of formal education and no history of psychiatric hospitalization. In the NSSH group, 87 (37.5%) patients reported consuming alcohol, which was associated with male sex, being married or unmarried but living together, ≥12 years of formal education, and no history of depression. Alcohol consumption could predict ED disposition in the SA group but not in the NSSH group. The impact of alcohol consumption varied according to suicidal intents among patients admitted to the ED for self-harm behavior. Regardless of suicidal intent, patients with a higher education level tended to drink alcohol when engaging in self-harm behaviors.


Alcohol drinking; Emergency department; Self-harm behavior

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Dongjun Seo,Jung Il Lee,Duk Hee Lee,Hye Jin Kim. Association between alcohol consumption and severity of self-harm behaviors based on suicidal intent in patients admitted to the emergency department for self-harm. Signa Vitae. 2023. 19(3);173-181.


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