3. Deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are increasing

In 2014, more than 8,100 Finns died from dementia including Alzheimer's disease. The number of deaths from dementia has more than doubled over the past ten years. The growth is also visible in the age-standardised figures (Figure 5), 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, cause 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 is suffering from, for example, dementia in addition to pneumonia, dementia is selected as the primary cause of death in the statistics.

Dementia mortality has developed over the past twenty years in a similar fashion for both men and women. A majority 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 of persons dying from dementia was 88 in 2014. Dementia mortality of Finnish men and women was the highest in EU countries relative to the population and age structure in 2012.

Figure 5. Age-standardised dementia mortality (icl. Alzheimer's disease) 1971 to 2014

Figure 5. Age-standardised dementia mortality (icl. Alzheimer's disease) 1971 to 2014

Source: Causes of death, Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 30.12.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2014, 3. Deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are increasing . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.10.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ksyyt/2014/ksyyt_2014_2015-12-30_kat_003_en.html