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The Open Public Health Journal




Bentham Open

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Background: The trends and patterns of the mortality rates for causes of death are meaningful information. They can provide a basis for national demographic and health care policies by identifying the number, causes, and geographical distribution of deaths.

Objective: To explore and analyze the characteristics of the mortality rates for major causes of death in Korea.

Methods: Some common data analysis methods were used to describe the data. We also used some visualization techniques such as heat maps and line plots to present mortality rates by gender, age, and year.

Results: Our analysis shows the crude mortality rates have continually decreased over the last 25 years from 1983, though they have increased slightly since 2006. In addition, the top eight causes of death accounted for 80% of all Korean deaths in 2015. During the period 2005-2015, the leading cause of death was cancer in male and circulatory diseases in female. The trend for respiratory diseases shows a steep upward trend in males, while a similar trend can be observed for respiratory and nervous system diseases in females.

Conclusion: The deaths for circulatory, respiratory, nervous system, digestive, and infectious diseases are the highest in the age 80 to 84, while cancer is the leading cause of death for ages 75 to 79. In addition, the mortality rates for circulatory, nervous, and respiratory dis-eases increase rapidly after the age of 80. Therefore, policies on health and welfare for the elderly are getting more and more important.

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