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Finland – Health Issues

Finland is a country located in Northern Europe with a population of approximately 5.5 million people. The country has a high standard of living, a strong healthcare system, and a focus on preventive health measures. Despite this, there are still some common health issues that affect the population.

Common Health Issues in Finland

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Finland, accounting for 30% of all deaths. This includes heart attacks, strokes, and other conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. Some risk factors for CVD include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.

The Finnish government has implemented several initiatives to reduce the incidence of CVD in the country. For example, the North Karelia Project was launched in the 1970s to reduce the prevalence of heart disease in the North Karelia region. This project focused on community-based interventions, such as increasing physical activity and improving diet, and has since been adopted as a national model.


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Finland, accounting for 25% of all deaths. The most common types of cancer in Finland are prostate, breast, and lung cancer. Risk factors for cancer include smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and exposure to environmental toxins.

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The Finnish Cancer Registry collects data on cancer incidence and mortality in the country, which is used to inform cancer prevention and treatment strategies. The registry also conducts research on cancer risk factors and provides information to the public on cancer prevention and early detection.

Mental Health

Mental health is a growing concern in Finland, with depression and anxiety being the most common mental health disorders. The prevalence of these disorders has been increasing in recent years, particularly among young people. Risk factors for poor mental health include social isolation, stress, trauma, and substance abuse.

The Finnish healthcare system provides mental health services through both primary care and specialized mental health clinics. The government has also implemented several initiatives to promote mental health and prevent mental health disorders, such as the national Mental Health Promotion and Prevention Program.

Smoking in Finland

Prevalence of Smoking

Smoking is relatively common in Finland, with approximately 16% of the population reporting smoking on a daily basis. However, smoking rates have been declining in recent years, with the implementation of several tobacco control policies.

Attitudes towards Smoking

Attitudes towards smoking in Finland have become increasingly negative in recent years. Smoking is often viewed as a social taboo, and smokers may face social stigma and discrimination. Many public spaces, including restaurants, bars, and workplaces, are smoke-free, which has helped to reduce the visibility of smoking in public.

Legislation on Smoking

Finland has implemented several tobacco control policies in recent years to reduce smoking rates and improve public health. Some of these policies include:

  • Ban on smoking in all public spaces, including restaurants, bars, and workplaces
  • Ban on tobacco advertising and promotion
  • Restriction on the sale of tobacco products to minors
  • Increase in tobacco taxes to discourage smoking

The Finnish government has also set a goal of making Finland tobacco-free by 2040, which involves reducing smoking rates to less than 2% of the population. To achieve this goal, the government has implemented several initiatives, such as providing free nicotine replacement therapy to smokers and increasing funding for tobacco control programs.

In conclusion, Finland has several health concerns that affect its population, including obesity, heart disease, and mental health issues. However, the country has implemented various initiatives and programs to address these concerns, including promoting healthy lifestyles, providing access to healthcare, and introducing anti-smoking laws and initiatives. These efforts have helped Finland achieve one of the highest life expectancies and overall health outcomes in the world.

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