THL: Coronavirus risk varies from region to region

There are estimated to be at least a million people at risk from Covid-19 in Finland who are either already sick, or because of their age.

File photo of woman holding elderly woman's hand / Credit; iStock Photo

The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare THL says the risk of coronavirus in Finland varies from region to region.

The most at-risk people are those over 70 years of age or with a disease that impairs lung or heart functions, or compromised immune systems.

Based on regional differences in demographics and morbidity, THL says the region with the highest number of people at risk is in the Itä-Savo Hospital District, where 1-in-3 people over 18 falls into the high risk group. The next most at-risk groups are in Etelä-Savo and Kainuu.

The lowest risk group in relation to the population is in Helsinki and Uusima Hospital District and in Northern Ostrobothnia.

“Hospital districts can use the information to assess how many people may need hospital care during a corona epidemic and how much nursing staff and other resources are needed” explains Tiina Laatikainen, a research professor at THL.

More than a million people at risk

There are about 200,000 people in Finland who fall into health-related risk factors because they already have serious cardiovascular disease; diabetes combined with other serious medical conditions; liver or kidney disease; are obese; or have another disease that suppresses the immune system like leukemia.

When it comes to age, there are about 87,000 elderly people at risk in total in Finland.

“The measures taken in Finland aim to limit the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic and reduce the number of people suffering from the disease. It is important that those at risk are now effectively protected from infections” says Taneli Puumalainen, THL’s chief physician.