Inj Prev 13:282-284 doi:10.1136/ip.2006.012922
  • Brief report

Surveillance of injury-related deaths: medicolegal autopsy rates and trends in Finland

  1. Philippe Lunetta1,
  2. Anne Lounamaa2,
  3. Sanna Sihvonen2
  1. 1National Public Health Institute, Injury Prevention Unit, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2National Public Health Institute, Injury Prevention Unit, Helsinki, Finland
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P Lunetta
 National Public Health Institute, Injury Prevention Unit, Mannerheimintie 166, Helsinki 00300, Finland; philippe.lunetta{at}
  • Accepted 21 December 2006


Medicolegal autopsies are a vital tool for obtaining reliable injury mortality data. In Finland, medicolegal autopsies have increased from 13.6% of all deaths in 1970 to 23.8% in 2004. In fact, medicolegal autopsies are performed in 87.2% of all unintentional injury deaths, 98.3% of homicides and 99.5% of suicides. Finland has exceedingly high medicolegal autopsy rates compared with other countries. Autopsy rates should be appropriately considered when performing international comparisons of injury-related deaths.


  • Competing interests: None declared.

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