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J Prev Med Public Health. 2013 Sep;46(5):261-70. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.2013.46.5.261. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Socio-demographic characteristics and leading causes of death among the casualties of meteorological events compared with all-cause deaths in Korea, 2000-2011.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.



This study investigated the socio-demographic characteristics and medical causes of death among meteorological disaster casualties and compared them with deaths from all causes.


Based on the death data provided by the National Statistical Office from 2000 to 2011, the authors analyzed the gender, age, and region of 709 casualties whose external causes were recorded as natural events (X330-X389). Exact matching was applied to compare between deaths from meteorological disasters and all deaths.


The total number of deaths for last 12 years was 2 728 505. After exact matching, 642 casualties of meteorological disasters were matched to 6815 all-cause deaths, which were defined as general deaths. The mean age of the meteorological disaster casualties was 51.56, which was lower than that of the general deaths by 17.02 (p<0.001). As for the gender ratio, 62.34% of the meteorological event casualties were male. While 54.09% of the matched all-cause deaths occurred at a medical institution, only 7.6% of casualties from meteorological events did. As for occupation, the rate of those working in agriculture, forestry, and fishery jobs was twice as high in the casualties from meteorological disasters as that in the general deaths (p<0.001). Meteorological disaster-related injuries like drowning were more prevalent in the casualties of meteorological events (57.48%). The rate of amputation and crushing injury in deaths from meteorological disasters was three times as high as in the general deaths.


The new information gained on the particular characteristics contributing to casualties from meteorological events will be useful for developing prevention policies.


Climate change; Cyclonic storms; Disasters; Floods; Socioeconomic factors; Vulnerability

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