3. Number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer's disease did not grow from the year before

During 2019, still more than 10,000 Finns died from dementia (including Alzheimer's disease), which is almost the same as in the year before. Dementia mortality relative to the population and age structure decreased by three per cent from 2018.

The number of deaths from dementia has nearly doubled over the past ten years. The growth is visible in the age-standardised figures (Figure 6), where the effects of the population structure are taken into consideration. The growth is in part the result of more specific diagnostics and changes in the definitions of causes of death (WHO guidelines). From 2005, causes of death statistics have adopted an international guideline that limits the use of pneumonia as a primary cause of death in connection with several chronic diseases. If a person, in addition to pneumonia, is suffering from, for example, dementia, dementia is selected as the primary cause of death.

Mortality from dementia and Alzheimer's disease has increased annually as much for men and women. A majority, or two-thirds, of those who die from this disease group are, however, women. The higher share of deaths from dementia among women than men is caused by women living longer than men. The average age at death of persons that died from dementia was 86 years for men and 89 years for women.

Dementia mortality of Finnish men and women (incl. Alzheimer's disease) was highest in EU countries relative to the population in 2017 according to preliminary data. By contrast, pneumonia mortality was the lowest in Finland of EU countries. Pneumonia is a common immediate cause of death but a rarer primary cause of death in Finland than in other EU countries.

Figure 6. Age-standardised dementia mortality (incl. Alzheimer’s disease) 1971 to 2019

Figure 6. Age-standardised dementia mortality (incl. Alzheimer’s disease) 1971 to 2019

Source: Causes of death, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Airi Pajunen 029 551 3605, Kati Taskinen 029 551 3648, Jari Hellanto 029 551 3291, kuolemansyyt@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 14.12.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2019, 3. Number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer's disease did not grow from the year before . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.6.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ksyyt/2019/ksyyt_2019_2020-12-14_kat_003_en.html