Man receiving his third BioNTech-Pfizer covid-19 booster jab at the vaccine center in a shopping mall in Espoo, Finland, on December 21, 2021. LEHTIKUVA


Statistic Finland’s mortality statistics report shows that a total of 952 people died from coronavirus disease in 2021. In 200 cases COVID-19 contributed to the death of a person in addition to an underlying disease.

"People with coronavirus disease as a contributing cause of death were often multi-morbid. Nearly 40% of them had cardiovascular disease as the underlying cause of death and around 45% had memory problems or cancer," says Senior Specialist at Statistics Find Airi Pajunen.

Most deaths from coronavirus were among older people with the highest number of deaths in people between 85 to 89 years. Pajunen adds: “Although the majority of coronavirus deaths were among older people, those who died were younger than in the previous year.”

Statistic Finland’s report states that six people died from reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, however, the manufacturer of these vaccinations is not mentioned. The youngest death was in the 20 to 24 age group and the oldest in the 90 to 94 age group.

Diseases of the cardiovascular system still leading cause of death

About 19.000 residents died from cardiovascular disease. These include heart attacks, heart failure and strokes among others. In 2021 more people died from such diseases in comparison to 2020 as these remained the leading cause of death for Finns.

However, the mortality rate decreased by 1%. "Over the past ten years, relative mortality from circulatory diseases has fallen by almost 30% for both men and women," says actuary Kati Taskinen.

A quarter of deaths in 2021 were caused by tumours. Death due to tumour diseases in men were mainly caused by lung and prostate cancer and in women by lung and breast cancer.

The third most common cause of death was memory disorders. 11.500 Finns died of dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) in 2021, which is almost 800 more than in the previous year. Mortality from dementia increased markedly, by up to 4%.

"Mortality from dementia and Alzheimer's disease has increased almost equally for men and women in previous years, but in 2021, age-standardised mortality from dementia increased significantly more for men than for women," Taskinen says. However, most deaths from the disease were among women since there are far more women than men in older age groups.

Women's accidental death rate increased

More Finns died from accidental death in 2021 compared to the previous year. The age-standardised accidental death rate increased by more than 3%, driven by a significant increase of 10% in the accidental death rate for women. For men, the accidental mortality rate remained almost at the same level as before.

The most common fatal accident was a fall or a fall from a height. 1.232 people died in these accidents, which is more than half of all accidental deaths. Two thirds of fatal falls occurred in people over 80 years of age.

Sirona Schönfeldt – Helsinki Times
Source: Statistics Finland