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Suicide main cause of death for those under 40 in S. Korea

All Headlines 12:03 September 08, 2011

SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- Suicide was the No. 1 cause of death among people under 40 years of age in South Korea last year, with the nation's overall suicide rate also marking the highest among the world's major countries, a report showed Thursday.

According to the report by Statistics Korea, suicide was the leading cause of death among those in their teens, 20s and 30s in 2010. Of those aged 10-19, 5.2 out of every 100,000 people committed suicide last year, while the rates for those in their 20s and 30s came to 24.4 and 29.6, respectively.

For all age groups, the nation's suicide rate stood at 31.2, the highest among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the report said. The OECD average rate was 11.3.

Men's suicide rate was 41.4, much higher than 21.0 for females. More than 20 percent of the people that committed suicide last year took their lives in May and July, the report showed.

The nation's suicide rate had been on the rise since the early 1990s. It peaked in 1998 before declining slightly later. Since 2000, the rate has been growing again, with the rate more than doubling over the past decade.

Meanwhile, the number of total deaths tallied last year came to 255,000, up 3 percent from a year earlier, the report showed.

Cancer, cerebrovascular disease and heart disease were the three major causes of death and the reasons behind 47.8 percent of the total number of deaths last year, according to the report. Suicide was the fourth-leading cause of death, it added.


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