Somatic morbidity and criminality: the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort Study

Forensic Sci Int. 2003 Mar 12;132(1):68-75. doi: 10.1016/s0379-0738(02)00456-5.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between adverse physical disorders and violent/non-violent criminal behaviour.

Design: The study material consisted of the large, prospectively followed, unselected and genetically homogeneous Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, the Finnish Hospital Discharge Registers and the National Crime Register (n=10934).

Main results: The results of the logistic regression analyses showed that male offenders had statistically significantly more injuries (adj. OR=1.81, 95% CI=1.51-2.17), when compared with males without a criminal history. Violent male offenders exhibited greater morbidity to the diseases of the respiratory system (adj. OR=1.64, 95% CI=1.03-2.60) when compared with non-violent criminals. Female offenders suffered more commonly from poisonings (adj. OR=3.84, 95% CI=1.69-8.72), injuries (adj. OR=2.79, 95% CI=1.67-4.66), infections (adj. OR=1.87, 95% CI=1.16-2.99) and indefinite symptoms (adj. OR=2.02, 95% CI=1.20-3.40) than non-offending females.

Conclusions: At epidemiological level, criminal behaviour seems to be associated especially with an increased risk of injuries for both sexes. The observed increase of the diseases of the respiratory system among violent but not among non-violent males calls for further investigations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Morbidity*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*