Causes of death in the Sami population of Sweden, 1961-2000
2005 (English)In: International Journal of Epidemiology, ISSN 0300-5771, Vol. 34, no 3, 623-629 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND: Indigenous people often have a pattern of mortality that is disadvantageous in comparison with the general population. The knowledge on causes of death among the Sami, the natives of northern Scandinavia, is limited. The aim of the present study was to compare gender and cause specific mortality patterns for reindeer herding Sami, non-herding Sami, and non-Sami between 1961 and 2000. METHODS: A Sami cohort was constructed departing from a group of index-Sami identified as either reindeer herding Sami or Sami eligible to vote for the Sami parliament. Relatives of index-Sami were identified in the National Kinship Register and added to the cohort. The cohort contained a total of 41 721 people (7482 reindeer herding Sami and 34 239 non-herding Sami). A demographically matched non-Sami reference population four times as large, was compiled in the same way. Relative mortality risks were analysed by calculating standardized mortality ratios (SMRs). RESULTS: The differences in overall mortality and life expectancy of the Sami, both reindeer herding and non-herding, compared with the reference population were relatively small. However, Sami men showed significantly lower SMR for cancers but higher for external causes of injury. For Sami women, significantly higher SMR was found for diseases of the circulatory system and diseases of the respiratory system. An increased risk of dying from subarachnoid haemorrhage was observed among both Sami men and women. CONCLUSIONS: The similarities in mortality patterns are probably a result of centuries of close interaction between the Sami and the non-Sami, while the observed differences might be due to lifestyle, psychosocial and/or genetic factors.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 34, no 3, 623-629 p.
Sami, reindeer herders, cause of death, diseases of the circulatory system, cancer, subarachnoid haemorrhage, external cause of injury
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-14353DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyi027PubMedID: 15737965OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-14353DiVA: diva2:154024