On average, residents of Helsinki are more healthy than other Finns, and endemic diseases are less common than throughout the country as a whole. There are significant differences in morbidity between the districts of Helsinki.
The morbidity and endemic disease indices describe how healthy or sick the population of a specific city or area is in relation to the entire country’s average, which is signified by the figure 100. In Helsinki, the morbidity and endemic disease indices are lower than the country’s average. In 2019, Helsinki’s morbidity index was 87 and the endemic disease index was 80. As regards individual endemic diseases, only psychoses were at the level of the entire country’s average among the population of Helsinki. The other six endemic diseases are rarer than in the rest of Finland.
There is a lot of variation in the morbidity and endemic disease indices between the districts of Helsinki. In some districts, the indices are higher than the country’s average, and in others, the indices are well below the general levels. Overall, 81% of the population of Helsinki districts lived in areas where morbidity was below the index for the entire country. The morbidity index was higher than the country’s average in seven districts only. Correspondingly, 89% of the population of Helsinki districts lived in areas where the endemic disease index was below the index for the entire country. The endemic disease index was above the country’s average in four districts only.
The differences were found to be due to variation in the socioeconomic structure of the district populations. For example, education, income and unemployment are connected to the health of the population. As such, regional differences in health and morbidity are primarily due to the sociodemographic and socioeconomic differences between the populations of each respective area.
The information of the statistics were based on materials provided by Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. The morbidity index is based on three variables: mortality, the proportion of those on disability pension among the working age population, and the population share of those entitled to specially reimbursable medication. The endemic disease index, in turn, indicates the prevalence of endemic diseases among the regional population in proportion to the population of the entire country. Based on prevalence, the following are regarded as endemic diseases among Finns: diabetes, psychosis, heart failure, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, hypertension and coronary artery disease.
As regards the indices used for the publication, the effects of varying age structures have been eliminated through standardisation.
Morbidity and endemic disease indices in Helsinki by district 2019, Statistics 2021:4 (in Finnish)
Photo: Kimmo Brandt, City of Helsinki Media Bank.