Finland: Alcohol mortality diminished further

Deaths related to the use of alcohol grew relatively evenly in Finland from the 1980s until 2003, after which deaths from alcohol-related causes increased by around one-quarter within a few years. The slow decrease in the number of deaths from alcohol-related causes that started in 2008 continued in 2015. Alcohol mortality in 2015 was almost on level with 2003. In 2015, close on 1,700 persons died from alcohol-related diseases and alcohol poisonings. Of them, around 1,300 were men and 400 women.

The most significant reason for the growth in alcohol mortality in the early 2000s was increased consumption of alcohol. Since 2007, total alcohol consumption has decreased, however. In 2015, converted to 100% alcohol, total consumption was 9.0 litres per capita (National Institute for Health and Welfare 2016). Changes in alcohol-related mortality has followed fairly regularly the graph for total consumption of alcoholic beverages even though alcohol-related deaths usually call for long-term detrimental use of alcohol that lasts for several years. The changes in the number of deaths from alcohol-related causes between 2009 and 2015 were mainly caused by changes in men’s deaths from alcohol-related causes.

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