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High death rates from pneumonia and suicide in South Korea

October 21, 2019

A record number of South Koreans died from
cancer last year. However, the figures were the second lowest
among OECD member nations… while deaths from pneumonia, suicide, and traffic accidents
were noticeably high. Hong Yoo help us look beyond the digits. At least one out of every four deaths in South
Korea last year was caused by cancer. According to Statistics Korea, cancer killed
more than seventy-eight thousand Koreans in 2017, the highest number since records began
in 1983. However, South Korea had the second lowest
rate of deaths from cancer in the OECD. According to OECD data, 160-point-1 Koreans
out of every 100-thousand died from cancer last year. The only OECD member with a lower rate of
deaths from cancer than South Korea was Mexico. On the other hand, Hungary had the highest
rate of deaths from cancer — over 1-point-7 times higher than South Korea. Experts say this is due to the expansion of
government policies providing free medical checkups. In South Korea, people older than 50 can have
a free check-up for colorectal cancer. And starting from next year, for those who
have a high possibility of getting lung cancer can also get a free checkup. However, when it comes to deaths from pneumonia
and suicide, South Korea is on the upper end of the scale, with the second highest number
of deaths from pneumonia in the OECD. Experts say that pneumonia mainly affects
the elderly. As life expectancy has increased in South
Korea, the number of elderly people that die from pneumonia is also increasing. Last year, about 23 Koreans out of every 100
thousand committed suicide. The number is the second highest in the OECD. There were also 9.6 deaths per 100-thousand
from traffic accidents. Both suicide and traffic accident death rates
are falling but they remain among the highest in the OECD. Hong Yoo, Arirang News.

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