Injury deaths, suicides and homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000

Eur J Public Health. 2005 Oct;15(5):459-63. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cki042. Epub 2005 Jul 28.


Background: Only few studies have been carried out on the relationship between pregnancy and deaths from external causes.

Methods: Information on deaths from external causes among women aged 15-49 years in Finland in 1987-2000 (n = 5299) was linked to three national health registers to identify pregnancy-associated deaths (n = 212).

Results: The mortality rate for women during pregnancy and within 1 year of pregnancy termination from external causes was lower than mortality from external causes among non-pregnant women (relative risk 0.79; 95% confidence interval 0.69-0.91). Owing to elevated suicide and homicide rates, however, an increased risk was observed for women after abortions, especially in the age group of 15-24 years.

Conclusions: The low rate of deaths from external causes suggests the protective effect of childbirth, but the elevated risk after a terminated pregnancy needs to be recognized in the provision of health care and social services.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death / trends
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Registries
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*