2. Ischaemic heart disease causes more than every fifth death

Diseases of the circulatory system, such as ischaemic heart disease, are nowadays the most common cause of death among Finns. Ischaemic heart disease causes more than every fifth death (22 %). The number of deaths caused by ischaemic heart disease continued to decrease in 2011.

Figure 3 shows ischaemic heart disease mortality age-standardised. In age standardisation the effect of the age structure of the population and its changes are eliminated. In this case it is seen at which level mortality from ischaemic heart disease would be if the age structure of the population remained unchanged during the whole reference period. When the ageing of the population is eliminated from the figures by age standardisation, it can be seen that ischaemic heart disease mortality has fallen evenly over the last 40 years.

Figure 3. Age-standardised ischaemic heart disease mortality in 1969 to 2011

Figure 3. Age-standardised ischaemic heart disease mortality in 1969 to 2011

In 2011, 11,169 persons died from ischaemic heart disease. Of them 5,948, or 53 per cent, were men.

Lung cancer is a common cause of death among cancers. Mortality from lung cancer among women has increased during the last four decades, but among men it started to decline already in the 1980s. A total of 1,435 men and 671 women died of lung cancer in 2011.

Figure 4. Age-standardised lung cancer mortality in 1998 to 2011

Figure 4. Age-standardised lung cancer mortality in 1998 to 2011

Alongside alcohol-related causes, breast cancer is the most common cause of death among women of working age. Alcohol-related causes were a slightly more common cause of death among them in 2011 than breast cancer. Breast cancer mortality among working-age women was slightly lower in 2011 than in 2010 but deaths from alcohol-related causes went up from the previous year.

In 2011 the number of deaths from prostate cancer was 879, while in 2010 it was 845. When all cancers are taken into consideration, the highest number of men get prostate cancer but most commonly men die from lung cancer.

Figure 5. Age-standardised prostate cancer and breast cancer mortality in 1969 to 2011

Figure 5. Age-standardised prostate cancer and breast cancer mortality in 1969 to 2011

Source: Causes of death, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marja-Liisa Helminen 09 1734 3273, Airi Pajunen 09 1734 3605, kuolemansyyt@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 21.12.2012

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2011, 2. Ischaemic heart disease causes more than every fifth death . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 21.7.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ksyyt/2011/ksyyt_2011_2012-12-21_kat_002_en.html