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‘Lower-income women more vulnerable to depression’

Women in Korea who have a low income or are unemployed are more likely to suffer from depression, a study claimed Sunday.

The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs said in the report that 16.3 percent of women over age 20 have suffered from depression for more than a two-week period in the past year, compared to men’s 9 percent.

By income group, 24.8 percent of those in the lowest quartile experienced depression, compared to 13.8 percent of those in the highest income bracket.

By education, graduates of middle schools were also more prone to depression than college graduates with 31.7 percent and 14.0 percent having suffered depression, respectively, the researchers said.

The report also showed that women with depression were more likely to smoke and drink, with 9.7 percent of depressed women saying they smoked ― nearly twice as many as those without depression.

Nearly 8 percent of depressed women had excessive drinking problems, compared to 4.4 percent of those who did not suffer from depression.

“Women’s depression is associated with gender and socioeconomic factors. In order to cure and prevent women’s depression, we need to conduct research on vulnerable groups and implement tailored polices accordingly,” the report said.

By Yeo Jun-suk (