Mortality from chronic liver disease is rising in Finland – One fifth of deaths among working-aged men are due to liver disease
BackgroundThe prevalence of chronic liver disease is rising, but detailed analysis of liver-related mortality in Finland is lacking. We studied age-standardized liver-related mortality in age- and sex-groups and over time.
Methods From Statistics Finland’s cause-of-death data, we calculated age-standardized mortality rates for alcohol-related, other liver diseases, and for primary liver cancer.
ResultsDuring the time period 1971–2020, age-standardized liver-related mortality (liver disease and primary liver cancer combined) increased from 12.5 to 31.2 per 100 000, i.e., to 2.5-fold. During the same time period, mortality from other key population-level diseases decreased. The peak age of liver-related mortality was in the working-aged population, while liver cancer-related mortality peaked at older ages. In the age group of 45–59 years, up to 22.3 % of deaths in men and 14.0 % in women were related to liver disease. Alcohol-related liver disease explained 93 % of liver-related deaths in the working-aged population. The highest liver mortality rates were observed in the Kymenlaakso, Päijät-Häme, Satakunta and South Karelia regions.
ConclusionsLiver-related mortality is increasing in Finland, and underlies one fifth of deaths among working-aged men. Strategies to tackle this increasing burden are urgently needed.
Fredrik Åberg, Ville Männistö, Pia Mäkelä