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Alcohol-related deaths down 10% in 2017

According to new statistics, 200 fewer people died from alcohol-related diseases in Finland during 2017. 

Figures from Finland's statistics agency show that 1,558 people died of alcohol-related diseases and alcohol poisoning last year, a drop of 11 percent from 2016.

Statistics Finland said that alcohol-related deaths amounted to three percent of all deaths nationwide.

While the mortality rate from alcohol has decreased for the adult population as a whole, it has grown among those over the age of 65. Nevertheless, the trend of declining mortality has now continued for a decade, with the number of alcohol-related deaths falling by 32 percent since 2007, the statistical agency said.

Professor Pia Mäkelä from the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL said the fall in mortality is driven by an overall drop in alcohol consumption.

"However, this year could see an end to that development as the decade-long decline in alcohol consumption will likely stop," she said.

This is because more liberal alcohol laws have allowed consumers to buy stronger alcoholic beverages with up to 5.5 percent alcohol content at supermarkets since the start of 2018.

Preliminary figures from THL show that alcohol consumption rose by one percent over January-August this year.