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Family origin and mortality: prospective Finnish cohort study.

Saarela J, Finnäs F - BMC Public Health (2011)

Bottom Line: In Finnish speakers, the effects of own birth area and area of residence disappeared when parental birth area was accounted for.The findings highlight and give further support for the potentially important role of genetic risk factors in mortality.Close monitoring of persons' geographic and ethnic ancestry may promote public health and avoid many early deaths.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Åbo Akademi University, 65101 Vasa, Finland. jan.saarela@abo.fi

ABSTRACT

Background: Death rates are notably higher in eastern Finland than in western Finland, and life expectancy of Finnish speakers shorter than that of Swedish speakers. The mortality differences correspond to recent genetic mappings of the population and are prominent for causes of death that are known to be associated with genetic risk factors.

Methods: Using intergenerational data, we studied the impact of parental birth area on all-cause mortality risks of middle-aged men in Finland 1985-2003, assuming that geographic family origin reflects genetic predisposition to complex disorders. Relative death risks at ages 30-49 years were estimated by parental birth region and ethnicity, according to Cox regressions standardised for own education, family type at childhood, and year of birth.

Results: The death risk of Finnish speakers born in eastern Finland was 1.13 (95% confidence interval 1.01 to 1.26) that of Finnish speakers born in western Finland, whereas that of Swedish speakers was only 0.60 (0.52 to 0.71). In Finnish speakers, the effects of own birth area and area of residence disappeared when parental birth area was accounted for. The death risk of persons with at least one parent born in eastern Finland was 1.23 (1.09 to 1.39) that of people with both parents born in western Finland.

Conclusions: Parental birth area is the driving force behind the regional mortality difference in Finland. The findings highlight and give further support for the potentially important role of genetic risk factors in mortality. Close monitoring of persons' geographic and ethnic ancestry may promote public health and avoid many early deaths.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Relative death rates by region in Finland, standardised for age and calendar year, men aged 35-49 years, 1986-2005 . Total Finland is equal to one. The classification is according to the 20 administrative regions, plus one category (number 7) that separates the Helsinki metropolitan area. Authors' calculations based on [12].
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Figure 1: Relative death rates by region in Finland, standardised for age and calendar year, men aged 35-49 years, 1986-2005 . Total Finland is equal to one. The classification is according to the 20 administrative regions, plus one category (number 7) that separates the Helsinki metropolitan area. Authors' calculations based on [12].

Mentions: Figure 1 illustrates the southwest to northeast increase in mortality rates standardised for age and calendar year, based on official aggregate statistics comprising the total male population by region for the period 1986-2005. The regions have been geographically numbered and coloured to facilitate comparisons. The thick broken line represents the most evident mortality difference, which roughly corresponds with the first national boundary between Sweden-Finland and Russia in 1323. A similar divide has been observed in terms of anthropology, folklore, and dialects [11].


Family origin and mortality: prospective Finnish cohort study.

Saarela J, Finnäs F - BMC Public Health (2011)

Relative death rates by region in Finland, standardised for age and calendar year, men aged 35-49 years, 1986-2005 . Total Finland is equal to one. The classification is according to the 20 administrative regions, plus one category (number 7) that separates the Helsinki metropolitan area. Authors' calculations based on [12].
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3117712&req=5

Figure 1: Relative death rates by region in Finland, standardised for age and calendar year, men aged 35-49 years, 1986-2005 . Total Finland is equal to one. The classification is according to the 20 administrative regions, plus one category (number 7) that separates the Helsinki metropolitan area. Authors' calculations based on [12].
Mentions: Figure 1 illustrates the southwest to northeast increase in mortality rates standardised for age and calendar year, based on official aggregate statistics comprising the total male population by region for the period 1986-2005. The regions have been geographically numbered and coloured to facilitate comparisons. The thick broken line represents the most evident mortality difference, which roughly corresponds with the first national boundary between Sweden-Finland and Russia in 1323. A similar divide has been observed in terms of anthropology, folklore, and dialects [11].

Bottom Line: In Finnish speakers, the effects of own birth area and area of residence disappeared when parental birth area was accounted for.The findings highlight and give further support for the potentially important role of genetic risk factors in mortality.Close monitoring of persons' geographic and ethnic ancestry may promote public health and avoid many early deaths.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Åbo Akademi University, 65101 Vasa, Finland. jan.saarela@abo.fi

ABSTRACT

Background: Death rates are notably higher in eastern Finland than in western Finland, and life expectancy of Finnish speakers shorter than that of Swedish speakers. The mortality differences correspond to recent genetic mappings of the population and are prominent for causes of death that are known to be associated with genetic risk factors.

Methods: Using intergenerational data, we studied the impact of parental birth area on all-cause mortality risks of middle-aged men in Finland 1985-2003, assuming that geographic family origin reflects genetic predisposition to complex disorders. Relative death risks at ages 30-49 years were estimated by parental birth region and ethnicity, according to Cox regressions standardised for own education, family type at childhood, and year of birth.

Results: The death risk of Finnish speakers born in eastern Finland was 1.13 (95% confidence interval 1.01 to 1.26) that of Finnish speakers born in western Finland, whereas that of Swedish speakers was only 0.60 (0.52 to 0.71). In Finnish speakers, the effects of own birth area and area of residence disappeared when parental birth area was accounted for. The death risk of persons with at least one parent born in eastern Finland was 1.23 (1.09 to 1.39) that of people with both parents born in western Finland.

Conclusions: Parental birth area is the driving force behind the regional mortality difference in Finland. The findings highlight and give further support for the potentially important role of genetic risk factors in mortality. Close monitoring of persons' geographic and ethnic ancestry may promote public health and avoid many early deaths.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus