SEOUL, July 8 Korea Bizwire) – A recent study has revealed that individuals drinking more than twice a week are almost twice as likely to commit suicide compared to non-drinkers.
The study was conducted by Jung Young-ho, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, and the conclusion was derived from an analysis of health insurance cohort data (2011 – 2013) provided by the National Health Insurance Service.
Dr. Jung’s research suggests that ‘risky drinkers’ who drank three or four times per week were 1.92 times more likely to commit suicide relative to non-drinkers, while ‘high-risk drinkers’ (five to seven times a week) were 1.93 times more likely to do the same.
The risk of death from addiction, in which drinking plays a big role, was also higher for ‘high-risk drinkers’ (by 2.92 times) and ‘risky drinkers’ (by 1.4 times) compared to non-drinkers.
Jung estimated the annual economic losses from suicide and deaths resulting from addiction to exceed 1.5 trillion won ($1.3 billion). The losses were estimated by calculating the average income that these victims could have earned if they had lived healthy lives to their average life expectancy.
“Korea bears a far higher economic burden from deaths and illnesses from drinking than other developed countries,” said Dr. Jung. “The WHO is advising countries to implement more active government intervention to reduce the harmful consequences of drinking. Korean authorities should take this advice and expand intervention in alcohol-related areas.”
The 2014 report revealed that the average Korean (of legal age) drinks 13.7 shots of hard liquor per week, tops in the world, followed by Russia (6.3 shots) and the Philippines (5.4 shots). The average Korean (aged 15 and above) consumes 12.3 liters of alcohol each year, according to WHO data.
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)