Fatal traumatic brain injuries during 13 years of successive alcohol tax increases in Finland – a nationwide population-based registry study
The study sought to investigate how increases in alcohol taxation and changes in alcohol consumption were associated with the incidence rate of fatal traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in Finland during the years 2004–2016.
Nationwide, mandatory cause of death database covering all deaths in Finland was searched for all deaths related to TBIs (ICD-10: S06.X) in persons ≥16 years of age during 2004–2016. Study period included 28,657,870 person-years and 325,514 deaths of which 12,110 were TBI-related. Occurrence rates were standardized to European 2013 standard population. Data for alcohol consumption were obtained from the National Institute for Health and Welfare and for alcohol taxation from Ministry of Finance, Finland.
Standardized incidence rate of TBI-related death was 22.0 per 100,000 person-years. Overall alcohol consumption decreased on average by 1.2% annually. Concurrently, the overall incidence rate of fatal TBIs decreased by 4.1% annually (by 4.3% in men and 2.4% in women). There was an association between overall alcohol consumption and TBI-related mortality rate. Tax-rate increases of all beverage types were associated with decreased incidence rate of TBI-related death in men, in women and overall.
In this population-based study, the researchers report that during 13 years of successive alcohol tax increases, overall alcohol consumption has decreased in parallel with a reduction in the incidence rate of fatal TBIs in Finland.