Suicidal behaviors in elderly Koreans: One-month-point prevalence and factors related to suicidality

Jae Young Park, Ji Won Han, Hyeon Jeong, Hyun Ghang Jeong, Tae Hui Kim, In Young Yoon, Ki Woong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Suicide prevention in the elderly is a major public health priority worldwide and in Korea in particular. We investigated the one-month-point prevalence and factors related to suicidality for suicidal behaviors in elderly Koreans. Methods: A simple random sample (N=1588) was drawn from the residential roster of 14,051 Koreans aged 60 years or older who were residents of Osan in February 2010. All subjects were invited to participate in the survey through door-to-door home visits, and the response rate was 59.8%. Results: The age- and gender-standardized prevalence rates of lifetime suicide attempts, current suicidal ideation without a plan or attempt, and current suicidal ideation with a plan or attempt were estimated at 9.2%, 19.6%, and 2.24%. The prevalence of suicidal ideation without a plan or attempt was higher in women and less-educated individuals and increased with advancing age, whereas the prevalence of suicidal ideation with a plan or attempt was higher in more-educated individuals, was not differentiated by gender, increased until age 70, and then decreased thereafter. The factors related to suicidal ideation differed by the presence of a suicide plan or attempt. Conclusions: Depressive elders in their 70s who have recently developed suicidal ideation would be a prime target for suicide intervention programs. Limitations: The sample was regional, although the suicide rate in Osan was comparable to the average suicide rate in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 15



  • Geriatric psychiatry
  • Korea
  • Prevalence
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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