Published: 30 December 2015

Fewer persons of working age than before die of diseases of the circulatory system

According to Statistics Finland's statistics on causes of death, nearly 8,700 Finns died at working age, that is, aged 15 to 64, around 5,900 men and 2,700 women. The mortality of people of working age has gone down in ten years by one quarter. The number of those dying of diseases of the circulatory system and accidents has diminished most. Over one-half of working-age people dying during 2014 died of neoplasms and diseases of the circulatory system.

Causes of death for deaths at working age, i.e. age 15 to 64 in 1990 to 2014

 Causes of death for deaths at working age, i.e. age 15 to 64 in 1990 to 2014

In Finland, fewer people than before die at working age, that is, at the age of 15 to 64. The age-standardised mortality of working-age people has diminished in ten years by 25 per cent. Among the main groups, mortality has declined most in diseases of the circulatory system and accidents, but the development has been positive in other most common cause of death groups as well.

Since 2001, most persons of working age have died of neoplasms instead of diseases of the circulatory system. In 2014, nearly 2,500 people of working age died of neoplasms, while around 2,000 died of diseases of the circulatory system. The number of persons dying of diseases of the circulatory system has gone down by one quarter during ten years. At the same time, the total number of persons of working age has not changed.

Accidents, suicides and alcohol-related causes claimed the life of 2,700 persons of working age

In 2014, nearly one-third of those dying at working age died of accidents, suicides and alcohol-related causes. The vast majority of them, 78 per cent, were men.

Almost 1,300 persons of working age died of alcohol-related causes in 2014, of whom the majority were men. The number of deaths was nearly ten per cent lower than in the year before. The number of those dying of alcohol-related diseases and alcohol poisonings has diminished starting from 2008.

The number of accidents among all people of working age has also contracted by over one-third since 2004. The decrease concerns nearly all most common accident groups: traffic accidents, stumbling and drowning. In 2014, around 800 persons of working age died of accidents, 600 of whom were men and 200 women.

Positive development has also taken place in suicide mortality. In 2014, the number of suicides among working-age people was over 600, which is more than one-quarter fewer than ten years earlier.

Most women died of neoplasms, most men of diseases of the circulatory system

Only every third person dying at working age was a woman. The mortality of working-age men has diminished in ten years more than that of women, so the difference in mortality between genders has narrowed down somewhat. However, the mortality of working-age men was still over double that of women. The difference in mortality between genders is at its largest in alcohol-related causes and diseases of the circulatory system. At its smallest it is in deaths from neoplasms (see Appendix figures 2 and 3).

In 2014, the most common cause of death group for working-age women was neoplasms, of which as many as 41 per cent of women died. The most common cancer for women was breast cancer, which caused the death of nearly every tenth working-age woman. Among working-age women, diseases of the circulatory system as the cause of death have decreased: their share in 2014 was 16 per cent, when twenty years ago the share was nearly one-quarter of all deaths. In contrast, 26 per cent of men died of diseases of the circulatory system, but just 23 per cent of neoplasms. The most common type of cancer that killed working-age men was lung cancer.

Men died at working age of alcohol-related causes considerably more than women. One in six men and one in ten women died of alcohol-related causes. The average age in alcohol-related causes of death was 59 years for men and 62 years for women.

Several different diseases and accidental alcohol poisonings have been collected into alcohol-related causes of death. The significance of the cause of death group in causes of death is smaller than that of the main groups of neoplasms and the circulatory system. However, more working-age persons die of alcohol-related causes than of individual neoplasm types or ischaemic heart diseases. Alcohol is also a contributing factor to death in many fatal accidents of working-age population.

In the statistics on causes of death, cause of death data are classified in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD10). The statistical application uses the national 54-category time series classification, with which classifications of different years have been made into a comparable format. The database tables contain more detailed data on causes of death on the 3-digit level of the International Classification of Diseases, for example.

Main causes of death among working-age population (aged 15 to 64) in 2014

54-group time series classification Total Males Females Total Males Females
Number Number Number % % %
04–22 Neoplasms 2 479 1 354 1 125 29 23 41
27–30 Diseases of the circulatory system 1 958 1 524 434 23 26 16
31–35 Disease of the respiratory system 198 134 64 2 2 2
41 Alcohol related diseases and accidental poisoning by alcohol 1 258 1 012 246 15 17 9
42–49 Accidents 798 612 186 9 10 7
50 Suicides 624 472 152 7 8 6
Other causes of death 1 346 841 505 16 14 19
01–54 Deaths total 8 661 5 949 2 712 100 100 100

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

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Updated 30.12.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2014. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 20.11.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ksyyt/2014/ksyyt_2014_2015-12-30_tie_001_en.html

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