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J Prev Med Public Health > Volume 41(5); 2008 > Article
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2008;41(5): 300-306. doi: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.2008.41.5.300
Comparisons of Health Inequalities in Small Areas with Using the Standardized Mortality Ratios in Korea.
Ji Hyun Kim, Tae Ho Yoon
Department of Preventive & Occupational Medicine, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Korea. yoonth@pusan.ac.kr
OBJECTIVES: This study was performed to compare the standardized mortality ratios among different small areas and to explore the usefulness of standardized mortality ratios in South Korea. METHODS: To calculate the standardized mortality ratio (SMR), we obtained the national deaths certificate data (2004-2006) and national registration population data (2003-2006), and these were provided by the National Statistical Office. The small areas (Eup.Myoun.Dong) were based on the subdivisions of counties. Among the 3,580 small areas classified by the National Statistical Office, 3,571 areas were included in this study. The basic statistics and decile distributions of the SMRs for all the regional levels were calculated, and the small area maps were also produced for some selected regions. To evaluate the precision of SMR, we calculated the 95% confidence intervals of the SMR in selected small areas. RESULTS: The mean and the standard deviation of the SMRs among all small areas were 100.8 and 17.0, respectively. The range was 30.6-211.7 and the inter-quartile range was 20.7. Seoul metropolitan city displayed the lowest mean SMR among 16 regions in South Korea, and 34.6 percent of the small area SMRs belonged to the first decile(the lowest group). On the contrary, the mean SMR of Gyeongsangnam province was highest, and 26.1 percent of the small area SMRs belonged to the tenth decile(the highest group). In some areas, the precision of the SMR, which was calculated by the 95% confidence intervals, remained questionable, yet it was quite stable for almost areas. CONCLUSIONS: The standardized mortality ratios can be useful for allocating health resources at the small area level in Korea.
Key words: Mortality; Geographic area; Public health
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