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BMJ. 1997 Jul 26;315(7102):211-6.

Contribution of deaths related to alcohol use to socioeconomic variation in mortality: register based follow up study.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, University of Helsinki, Finland. pia.makela@helsinki.fi



To estimate the contribution of excessive alcohol use to socioeconomic variation in mortality among men and women in Finland.


Register based follow up study.


The population covered by the 1985 and 1990 censuses, aged > or = 20 in the follow up period 1987-93.


Total mortality and alcohol related mortality from all causes, from diseases, and from accidents and violence according to socioeconomic position. The excess mortality among other classes compared with upper non-manual employees and differences in life expectancy between the classes were used to measure mortality differentials.


Alcohol related mortality constituted 11% of all mortality among men aged > or = 20 and 2% among women and was higher among manual workers than among other classes. It accounted for 14% of the excess all cause mortality among manual workers over upper non-manual employees among men and 4% among women and for 24% and 9% of the differences in life expectancy, respectively. Half of the excess mortality from accidents and violence among male manual workers and 38% among female manual workers was accounted for by alcohol related deaths, whereas in diseases the role of alcohol was modest. The contribution of alcohol related deaths to relative mortality differentials weakened with age.


Class differentials in alcohol related mortality are an important factor in the socioeconomic mortality differentials in Finland, especially among men, among younger age groups, and in mortality from accidents and violence.

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