Finland

FINLAND: Deaths from alcohol-related causes increased in 2018

Mortality from alcohol-related causes made a slight upturn in 2018 compared to 2017. In 2018, altogether 1,683 persons died from alcohol-related diseases and alcohol poisonings. Of them, 1,269 were men and 414 women. The number increased by 125 from the year before. Diseases related to long-term alcohol use, such as liver and heart diseases, cause a majority of deaths from alcohol-related causes. Despite this, changes in alcohol-related mortality has consistently followed the development in total consumption of alcoholic beverages (Figure 7).

Heart and liver diseases caused by alcohol, as well as alcohol poisonings increased from last year. The share of alcohol poisonings in deaths from alcohol-related causes has decreased from 26 to 15 per cent over a ten-year period. In 2018, the number of deaths from alcohol poisonings, however, increased for the first time since 2006. A total of 255 persons died from these, which was good 40 persons more than in the year before. More than one-half of those who died were men aged between 45 and 64.

The share of alcohol-related causes in all deaths was three per cent.

Figure 7. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol–related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol and total consumption of alcohol in 1971 to 2018

Figure 7. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol–related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol and total consumption of alcohol in 1971 to 2018

Men die of alcohol-related causes is considerably more often than women (Figure 8). Men’s mortality has also followed the changes in total consumption of alcohol more closely than women’s mortality. During 2018, men’s alcohol-related mortality increased more than women’s mortality.

Nearly two-thirds of persons that died from alcohol-related causes were of working-age. Over the past ten years, the share of women aged 65 or over and men aged 70 or over among the deaths has increased considerably. The share of persons aged 65 or over among those that died from alcohol-related causes has increased from 21 to 39 per cent in ten years. In younger age groups, deaths from alcohol-related causes have, in turn, decreased by one-third. In 2018, the average age of men dying of alcohol-related causes was 61 years and that of women 62 years.

Figure 8. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol-related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol in 1971 to 2018

Figure 8. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol-related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol in 1971 to 2018

Source: Causes of death, Statistics Finland

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2018, 4. Deaths from alcohol-related causes increased in 2018 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.12.2019].