University of Oulu

Näyhä, S. Coronary deaths during Midsummer festival in Finland: miseries of long, light nights. Eur J Epidemiol 36, 539–543 (2021).

Coronary deaths during Midsummer festival in Finland : miseries of long, light nights

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Author: Näyhä, Simo1
Organizations: 1Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-02


This paper examines whether the anomalous summer peak in deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD) in Finland could be attributed to adverse effects of the Midsummer festival and alcohol consumption during the festival. Daily deaths from CHD and alcohol poisoning in Finland, 1961–2014, that occurred during the 7 days centering on Midsummer Day were analysed in relation to deaths during 14 to 4 days before and 4 to 14 after Midsummer Day. Daily counts of deaths from CHD among persons aged 35–64 years were regressed on days around the Midsummer period by negative binomial regression. Mortality from CHD was highest on Midsummer Day (RR 1.25 (95% confidence interval 1.12–1.31), one day after the peak in deaths from alcohol poisonings. RR for CHD on Midsummer Day was particulary high (RR = 1.43; 1.09–1.86) in the 2000s, 30% of deaths being attributable to that day. In conclusion, the anomalous and prominent summer peak in deaths from CHD in Finland is an adverse consequence of the Midsummer festival. The most likely underlying reason is heavy alcohol consumption during the festival period, especially on Midsummer Eve. In the 2000s, one third of deaths from CHD on Midsummer Day are preventable.

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Series: European journal of epidemiology
ISSN: 0393-2990
ISSN-E: 1573-7284
ISSN-L: 0393-2990
Volume: 36
Issue: 5
Pages: 539 - 543
DOI: 10.1007/s10654-021-00744-6
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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