In Finland, people still die young of familiar causes. THL’s expert tells what politicians should pay attention to if premature deaths are to be further reduced. At the end of the article, you will find a list of the main causes of death in different regions and the special characteristics of the regions.
Ladies From the Lahti region and men from Kainuu. They should change their lifestyle, because according to statistics, they have a higher risk of dying an early death than other Finns.
Calculations of the premature deaths of Finns from 2016–2020 show that women in Päijät-Hämee lose the most years of life prematurely in Finland. In Kainuu, on the other hand, men die prematurely more often than elsewhere.
The good news is that Finns’ premature deaths have steadily decreased since 1996.
Still, there is also enough bad news. While studying the statistics, my head starts ringing the land of sad songs. Alcohol, drugs, suicides and heart diseases kill a large number of Finns – some far too early.
What kind of is an untimely, preventable death?
Calculations and analyzes are made in Finland by the Finnish Consulting Group (FCG), owned by the Municipal Corporation, based on the statistics of the causes of death from Statistics Finland. Internationally, we talk about the PYLL index, i.e. potential years of life lost. It is possible to compare the index with previous years and also internationally.
“Approximately 75 percent of the deaths of people under the age of 75 are considered avoidable deaths. These Deaths are a good measure of well-being in society. We can do something about them,” FCG’s expert doctor Emma Kajander says.
Internationally, the age of maturity is 75 years. That is, if a 25-year-old dies, fifty years are lost, and if a 70-year-old dies, five years are lost.
The idea is to obtain information on the basis of which justified decisions can be made about social security services and the costs caused by unnecessary deaths can be calculated.
How are prematurely lost life years calculated?
■ From Statistics Finland’s cause of death statistics, you can see at what age a person died, and then calculate how many years of life have been lost compared to “mature age”, i.e. a life expectancy of 75 years.
■ Deaths that could have been prevented are then analysed. It uses the OECD expert panel’s list of preventable causes of death. For example, all alcohol and drug deaths, violent deaths and traffic deaths are counted as such.
■ A large proportion of diseases that can be treated if the treatment starts early enough are also included.
■ The lost years of life are still converted into index form by relating them to the population.
From Statistics Finland’s cause of death statistics, you can see at what age a person died and then calculate how many years of life have been lost compared to “mature age”, i.e. a life expectancy of 75 years.
Deaths that could have been prevented are then analysed. It uses the OECD expert panel’s list of preventable causes of death. For example, all alcohol and drug deaths, violent deaths and traffic deaths are counted as such.
A large proportion of diseases that can be treated if the treatment starts early enough are also included. The years of life lost are prorated per 100,000 inhabitants per year and standardized to the standard population.
In the majority Among Finland’s welfare areas, direct alcohol diseases, such as alcohol poisoning or liver cirrhosis, cause the most premature deaths.
In Åland, South Savo, Central Uusimaa, Ostrobothnia and North Ostrobothnia, the biggest cause of premature deaths is suicide. Kainuu, Central Ostrobothnia and Lapland die the most prematurely from heart diseases.
A-Klinikkasäätiö social doctor Atte Virolainen urges to remember the peace border of Pähkinäsaari from 1323. It divides Finland’s west coast from Pyhäjoki a little south of Savonlinna in two. “On the north and east side of the border, there are definitely more substance abuse and mental illnesses,” says Virolainen.
He believes that a multigenerational malaise will reach the 2020s, the roots of which go back to the use of alcohol by men who were at war. Many families had to suffer from the use of alcohol and also from violence.
“Finland still has a culture of silence. People treat mental illnesses with alcohol. When you combine that with the poor availability of substance abuse and mental health services, the solution is ready,” Virolainen says.
He considers it important to help those who need help. As a percentage, a small part of the population causes most of the problems and expenses caused by alcohol. There are more than half a million high-risk alcohol users in Finland. About 80 percent of all alcohol used is consumed at risk.
Emma Kajander points out that premature deaths caused by alcohol do not include those causes of death where alcohol affects the cause of death indirectly. Such are suicides, drug-related deaths and traffic accidents. For example, heavy alcohol consumption is a risk factor for colon cancer.
He himself says that he was surprised after learning about a few things about the cause of death statistics.
Firstly, about how much more often men die prematurely than women. The PYLL index, which describes the premature deaths of men, is more than twice as high as that of women.
“I was shocked by drugs and suicides. It is young people who die from them. Human suffering is great. In the case of young people, society’s financial losses are also really big. There are a lot of lost years,” says Kajander.
Drug deaths the proportion is most clearly increasing when compared to the other most common causes of preventable deaths. But what should politicians do to get them down?
Special expert of the Institute of Health and Welfare Sanna Kailanto can quickly name an efficient and effective way to prevent drug deaths.
“The basis of everything is good preventive work on substance abuse. The fewer people start using intoxicants, the fewer deaths there will be,” Kailanto says.
According to Kailanto, those drug users who have already fallen through society’s net need direct substance abuse services. It means compensation treatment and psychosocial support.
“Furthermore, drug use rooms would prevent long-term deaths caused by drug use, when infections and other diseases could be treated,” says Sanna Kailanto.
He points out that Finland’s drug culture is different from many other countries, because injectable drugs are mixed with other substances here. Mixed use causes poisoning deaths.
of HS in the election machine the issue of drug use rooms divided the parties. The balls show the average opinion of the candidates of different parties on the issue.
When the candidates were asked in the election machine whether more money than planned should be given to social care and health care, a large number agreed. Only the candidates of the coalition hesitate to give the additional money.
About statistics attention-grabbing attention is emerging from different areas. According to the PYLL index, Ostrobothnia has lost more life years to traffic accidents than the rest of Finland. In Western Uusimaa, the loss of years of life caused by female suicides has increased alarmingly.
“No one can avoid death. Let’s try to ensure that none of us dies prematurely,” says FCG expert doctor Emma Kajander.
He believes that it is important that women’s health risks are also addressed.
Men’s risk of dying prematurely is much higher than women’s, but the loss of life years for men decreases more strongly. Throughout the country, the situation for women has improved a little, and for men strongly.
“There are certain causes of death and certain areas where the situation of women worsens. And that’s why the gender gap is narrowing. Of course, it’s not a good development,” says Emma Kajander.
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