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Deprivation and suicide mortality across 424 neighborhoods in Seoul, South Korea: a Bayesian spatial analysis



A neighborhood-level analysis of mortality from suicide would be informative in developing targeted approaches to reducing suicide. This study aims to examine the association of community characteristics with suicide in the 424 neighborhoods of Seoul, South Korea.


Neighborhood-level mortality and population data (2005–2011) were obtained to calculate age-standardized suicide rates. Eight community characteristics and their associated deprivation index were employed as determinants of suicide rates. The Bayesian hierarchical model with mixed effects for neighborhoods was used to fit age-standardized suicide rates and other covariates with consideration of spatial correlations.


Suicide rates for 424 neighborhoods were between 7.32 and 71.09 per 100,000. Ninety-nine percent of 424 neighborhoods recorded greater suicide rates than the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member countries’ average. A stepwise relationship between area deprivation and suicide was found. Neighborhood-level indicators for lack of social support (residents living alone and the divorced or separated) and socioeconomic disadvantages (low educational attainment) were positively associated with suicide mortality after controlling for other covariates.


Finding from this study could be used to identify priority areas and to develop community-based programs for preventing suicide in Seoul, South Korea.

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We thank Statistics Korea for providing neighborhood-level data for suicide deaths.

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Correspondence to Young-Ho Khang.

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Yoon, TH., Noh, M., Han, J. et al. Deprivation and suicide mortality across 424 neighborhoods in Seoul, South Korea: a Bayesian spatial analysis. Int J Public Health 60, 969–976 (2015).

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