Statistics Finland: Alcohol kills increasing numbers of working-age Finns
Dementia becomes common cause of death among elderly
The number of alcohol-related deaths continues to grow in Finland, indicates a recent study published by Statistics Finland.
According to the study, the number of deaths of working-age people (persons aged 15 to 64) were 7,629 for men and 3,219 for women in 2007. The number is 218 higher than in 2006.
The leading cause of death for both working-age men and women was an alcohol-related disease or accidental alcohol poisoning.
The number of alcohol-related deaths in working age increased by 8.6 per cent from the year before.
Alcohol became the leading cause of death for working-age Finns for the first time in 2004, while previously the greatest killers had been coronary disease and various cancers.
These diseases are still major causes of death in the statistics relating to the leading causes of death at ages of 65 and more.
A total of 28% of men and 26% of women in retirement age died of coronary disease in 2007.
The next most common causes of death for persons in retirement age are cerebrovascular diseases and cancers. Particularly lung cancer mortality has increased among people in retirement age compared with the corresponding number twenty years ago, Statistics Finland reports.
It has also been noticed that women are afraid of breast cancer but often die of coronary disease.
For working-age women the fear of breast cancer would be more justified, as it is the second most common cause of death for women in working-age, while coronary disease is the sixth.
The leading causes of death in retirement age are the other way round: a total of 530 Finns died of breast cancer, while a total of 5,600 individuals died of coronary disease.
However, the longer life expectancy of Finnish residents has had an effect on causes of death.
Dementia (incl. Alzheimer's disease) has become the second most common cause of death among women and the third most common cause among men in retirement age.
In 2007 a total of 4,705 persons died of old age dementia, reports Statistics Finland. The dementia-related mortality of women was threefold compared with that of men. In fact the disease led to the death of one in seven women in retirement age.
In 2007, an alcohol-related disease or accidental alcohol poisoning killed 1,800 working-age people.
The majority of the causes of death were diseases, as the number of accidental poisonings was only just below 600.
The number of people in retirement age who died of alcohol-related causes was almost 400.
In 2007 fatal accidents numbered 3,052, and frequently alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident.
FACTFILE: Births outnumber deaths
In 2007, the number of deaths was 45,000, while the number of live births was 58,800.
Most of the deceased persons were in retirement age (65 years or more).
The number of alcohol-related deaths in working age has increased over 20 years, while the number of deaths resulting from other causes has declined.
In 2007 a total of 995 persons committed suicide, of whom 817 died in working age. Three-quarters of the persons who committed suicide were men.
The number of deaths by suicide has fallen by one-third from the peak year of 1990, when a total of 1,520 suicides were reported in Finland.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Professor: Alcohol consumption could start to decline (25.11.2008)
Record number of alcohol-related deaths in Finland last year (1.11.2005)
Statistics Finland study published 4.12.2008: Alcohol-related deaths continued to increase in 2007