4. Deaths caused by alcohol use almost on level with the previous year

Deaths caused by alcohol use made a slight upturn in 2018. By contrast, the number of deaths in 2019 remained almost on level with the previous year. In 2019, altogether 1,718 persons died from alcohol-related diseases and alcohol poisonings. Of them, 1,306 were men and 412 women. The number increased by 35 from the year before.

Diseases related to long-term alcohol use, such as liver and heart diseases, cause a majority of deaths from alcohol-related causes. Changes in alcohol-related mortality has followed the development in total consumption of alcoholic beverages (Figure 7).

Altogether three per cent of all deaths were due to alcohol-related causes. In 2019, more than one half of deaths from alcohol-related causes stemmed from liver diseases caused by alcohol. The number of deaths caused by them increased from the year before. By contrast, the number of alcohol poisonings decreased from the year before. Alcohol poisonings accounted for 12 per cent of all alcohol-related deaths.

Figure 7. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol–related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol and total consumption of alcohol in 1971 to 2019

Figure 7. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol–related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol and total consumption of alcohol in 1971 to 2019

Men die of alcohol-related causes considerably more often than women (Figure 8). Men’s mortality has also followed the changes in total consumption of alcohol more closely than women's mortality. In 2019, men's age-standardised mortality from alcohol-related causes increased by one per cent and women's, correspondingly, decreased by one per cent compared to 2018. In 2017 to 2019, age-standardised mortality caused by alcohol use increased by a total of nine per cent, for men by 11 per cent and for women by three per cent.

Only slightly over one half of the persons who died from alcohol-related causes were of working age. Over the past ten years, the share of those aged 65 or over among the deceased has increased considerably. Their share of those that died from alcohol-related causes has increased from 21 to 42 per cent in ten years. In 2018, the average age of men dying of alcohol-related causes was 63 years and that of women 62 years.

Figure 8. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol-related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol in 1971 to 2019

Figure 8. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol-related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol in 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, 4. Deaths caused by alcohol use almost on level with the previous year . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.8.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ksyyt/2019/ksyyt_2019_2020-12-14_kat_004_en.html