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Long-term Trends in Death Rates from Alcohol-related Disease in South Korea

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Objectives: In this study, we examine long-term trends in death rates from alcohol-related disease in South Korea. Methods: We used cause-of-death statistics from Statistics Korea over the 1991– 2015 period. Specifically, using census data collected every 5 years, we analyzed 6,240,429 deaths in South Korea according to sex, age, and marital status. Results: Male death rates steadily declined from 1991 to 2015, but female death rates steadily increased. The growth rates of death for men and women in 1991 and 2015 were 138% and 700%, respectively, demonstrating a massive difference. The death rate from alcohol-related disease was highest in men aged 50-59 and wom- en aged 45-54. In addition, the death rates from alcohol-related disease among never-married and divorced people were higher than among those who were married or widowed. Conclusions: Male and female drinking behavior should be understood as having different characteristics, and alcohol prevention and treatment policies targeting women should be developed. In addition, preventive education and medical examinations should be conducted to prevent alcohol dependence or abuse arising from unemployment, divorce, disease, retirement, and so on.
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Keywords: ALCOHOL-RELATED DISEASE DEATHS IN SOUTH KOREA; DIFFERENTIAL MORTALITY; DRINKING BEHAVIOR; HEALTH INEQUALITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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