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Alcohol consumption in the Nordic Countries has declined most in Denmark and Finland

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 22.12.2016 13.00 | Published in English on 22.12.2016 at 15.43
Press release 248, MSAH and NIHW bulletin

Sales-based alcohol consumption in the Nordic Countries has decreased the most in Denmark and Finland. However, these countries are still the largest consumers of alcohol. In 2014, 9.5 litres of alcohol were consumed in Denmark per resident over the age of 15. In Finland the figure was 8.8 litres and in Greenland 8.6 litres.

From 2010, sales-based alcohol consumption has declined in the Nordic Countries by 9 percent.  The decline in consumption has been greatest in Greenland (-17 %), Denmark (-16 %) and Finland (-9 %).

Countries with high alcohol consumption also have the greatest number of alcohol-linked hospitalisations for liver diseases, for instance. Alcohol causes the greatest number of deaths in Greenland and the Faeroe Islands as well as Finland. 

Cancer mortality among men is the lowest in Finland and Sweden, and among women in Finland and the Faeroe Islands.  Finland's mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases are the second highest after Greenland for both men and women. The decline in suicides since 1990 has been greatest in Finland.

Male mortality in accidents is the highest in Finland.  For women, the highest figures are in the Åland Islands, in Finland as a whole, and in Norway. The Åland Islands and the Faeroe Islands have the greatest number of road traffic deaths.

Daily smoking has declined in all Nordic Countries

In Sweden 12 percent of both men and women smoke daily. In Norway the figure is 13 percent, and in Iceland it is 14 percent. In Finland men (17%) smoke more than women (14%), while women smoke more than men in Denmark (16% and 17%) and in the Faeroe Islands (20% and 24%).

Twenty percent of Swedish men use snus regularly, as do 15 percent of Norwegian men, 7 percent of Icelandic men, 6 percent of Finnish men, and less than one percent of Danish men.  The figures for women are 3–4 percent in Iceland, Sweden, and Norway, but well below one percent in Finland and Denmark.

New cases of lung cancer are reported most in Denmark and Greenland.  Finnish women have the lowest lung cancer rate in the Nordic Countries.

The percentage of obese persons (BMI 30 or more) is highest in Greenland: 26 percent for men and 29 percent for women. Finland and Iceland (15–17%) have higher obesity rates than Norway, Sweden, and Denmark (12–14%).
The Nordic Medico-Statistical Committee Nomesko publishes the Health Statistics for the Nordic Countries report annually, collecting the most recent statistics on health and health services in the five Nordic Countries and three autonomous regions (The Åland Islands, the Faeroe Islands, and Greenland). Nomesko is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Nomesko: Health Statistics for the Nordic Countries 2016

Further information

Research Professor Mika Gissler, THL, Finland's representative on the Editorial Committee of the yearbook, tel. +35829 524 7279, [email protected]
Timo A. Tanninen, Ministerial Counsellor for Finance, MSAH, tel. +3582951 63572, [email protected]

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