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Comparison of South Korean men and women admitted to emergency departments after attempting suicide: a retrospective study

  • Seung Taeg Seong1
  • Jung Il Lee2
  • Eun Kim3,*,†
  • Duk Hee Lee3,*,†

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Ewha Mok-dong Medical Center, Ewha Womans University, 07985 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, 03760 Seoul, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1803066 Vol.18,Issue 3,March 2022 pp.1-9

Submitted: 29 August 2021 Accepted: 19 October 2021

Published: 31 March 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Do men and women differ when it comes to suicidal behavior?)

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

† These authors contributed equally.


Background: Suicide is a major health concern, especially in South Korea. The probability of dying by suicide and the fatality rate differ between men and women. The present study compared the suicide characteristics of women and men and analyzed the choice of suicide methods. Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed patients who visited the emergency department after a suicide attempt in the period from 2016 to 2018, which had been obtained from the National Emergency Department Information System. Variables included suicide methods, Korean Triage and Acuity Scale level, vital signs, and disposition following emergency care. Results: A total of 88,495 (54.7% women vs. 45.3% men) cases were investigated. Significant gender differences were observed in clinical outcomes. In total, 10.3% of the men (n = 3811) and 4.0% of the women (n = 1852) died in the hospital. Women were proportionately more likely to use poisoning (62.3% vs. 51.0% in men) and piercing and cutting (24.9% vs. 22.9% in men) compared with men, whereas men were more likely to use hanging (9.5% vs. 4.6% in women) and being struck (7.9% vs. 1.1% in women). Conclusions: Women chose less lethal suicide methods, whereas men chose more violent methods. The fatalities among men were higher, even when the same method was used. In establishing a suicide prevention policy, it is important to consider gender differences.


Suicide; Gender; Suicide methods; Emergency department

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Seung Taeg Seong,Jung Il Lee,Eun Kim,Duk Hee Lee. Comparison of South Korean men and women admitted to emergency departments after attempting suicide: a retrospective study. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(3);1-9.


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