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In South Korea, injury is a public health problem due to its high incidence and high mortality. To improve emergency medical systems, the government announced plans to increase the emergency medical resources for each region. This study investigated the association between regional emergency medical resources and mortality during hospitalization in severely injured inpatients.
To analyse mortality for severely injured inpatients, we used the Korean National Hospital Discharge In-depth Survey data, consisting of 18,621 hospitalizations from 2005-2012. Generalized estimating equations were analysed to examine the association between mortality during hospitalization and both individual and regional variables.
Mortality during hospitalization occurred in 913 (4.9%) cases. Patients in regions with a higher number of emergency departments (odds ratio [OR]=0.94, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.91-0.98), a higher number of ambulances (OR=0.99, 95% CI: 0.98-0.99), and a higher number of registered nurses per emergency department (OR=0.88, 95% CI: 0.83-0.94) had a lower risk of mortality during hospitalization.
Our findings suggest that regional emergency medical resources are associated with a lower risk of mortality during hospitalization in severely injured patients. Thus, health care policymakers need to determine the proper distribution of emergency medical resources for each region and the function of emergency departments to provide a superior quality of emergency medical services to patients.
Suicide rates are high among elderly individuals experiencing socioeconomic insecurity. Socioeconomic security is of critical importance for elderly individuals and directly affects mental health, including suicidal behavior. Thus, we investigated the relationship between socioeconomic status and suicidal ideation in elderly individuals.
We conducted a cross-sectional study using data on 58,590 individuals 65 years of age or older from the Korean Community Health Survey 2013. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify relationships between socioeconomic factors (food insecurity, household income, and living arrangement) and suicidal ideation in the elderly population.
The study included 58,590 participants (24,246 males and 34,344 females). Of those, 2,847 males and 6,418 females experienced suicidal ideation. Participants with food insecure were more likely to experience suicidal ideation than were those who were food secure (males: OR = 1.60; 95% CI, 1.34–1.90; females: OR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.38–1.72). We found a similar pattern among participants with a low household income and those living alone. Additionally, male and female subjects who were food insecure and living alone or food insecure and had a low household income showed a marked increase in suicidal ideation.
Our findings suggest that low socioeconomic status is associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation among the elderly. Furthermore, intervention programs that address the prevalence of elderly suicide, particularly among those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, are needed.
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