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Published: 4 December 2008

Alcohol-related deaths continued to increase in 2007

A total of 24,805 men and 24,288 women died in 2007. The number of deaths of working-age people (persons aged 15 to 64) were 7,629 for men and 3,219 for women. The total 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. In 2007 alcohol-related causes led to the death of 1,796 persons in working age (ages 15 to 64) and 371 in retirement age (aged over 64). The number of alcohol-related deaths in working age increased by 8.6 per cent from the year before. Increase was recorded mainly in the number of deaths resulting from alcohol-related liver disease, while the number of deaths resulting from other alcohol-related causes remained roughly unchanged.

The second most common cause of death of working-age people was ischaemic heart disease for men and breast cancer for women. The number of persons who die of ischaemic heart disease aged under 65 has halved over the past twenty years. A total of 332 working-age women died of breast cancer. Breast cancer mortality among working-age people has stayed level over the past decade.

Leading causes of death at ages 15 to 64 by sex, 2007

Men Deaths

Women Deaths  

Rank Cause of death Rank Cause of death
1. Alcohol-related deaths 1,425 18.7 1. Alcohol-related deaths 371 11.5
2. Ischaemic heart disease 1,213 15.9 2. Breast cancer 332 10.3
3. Accidents, total 948 12.4 3. Accidents, total 241 7.5
4. Suicides 618 8.1 4. Ischaemic heart disease 206 6.4
5. Lung cancer 400 5.2 5. Suicides 199 6.2
6. Cerebrovascular disease 315 4.1 6. Lung cancer 189 5.9
  Other causes 2,710 35.5   Other causes 1,681 52.2
  Total deaths at ages 15-64, men 7,629 100    Total deaths at ages 15-64, women 3,219 100

In 2007 a total of 995 persons committed suicide of whom 817 died in working age, 3 were aged under 15 and 175 were in retirement 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 committed in Finland.

In 2007 fatal accidents numbered 3,052. One-half of these occurred to working-age people and one-half to persons in retirement age. One in four accidents occurred at home. Most of them were stumbles and falls, which most often occurred to retirement-age people. Alcohol was often a contributing factor in the domestic accidents of younger people. In 2007 a total of some 900 alcohol or medicinal poisonings were recorded, of which nearly 600 were alcohol poisonings.

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 retirement-age people. In 2007 a total of 4,705 persons died of old age dementia. Lung cancer mortality has also increased among retirement-age people of whom 1,478 died of lung cancer. Twenty years ago the number was 13 per cent lower. Heart diseases are still the leading cause of death among elderly people; every third death results from heart disease.

A total of 116 persons were killed as a result of violence in 2007. During the past forty years, the number of violent deaths in Finland has ranged between 100 and 180. In recent years there have been some 100 violent deaths per year.

Source: Causes of Death 2007. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Ms Helena Korpi +358 91734 3605, Mr Mauno Huohvanainen +358 91734 3296,

Director in charge: Mr Jari Tarkoma


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Last updated 4.12.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2007. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.3.2024].
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