December 16, 2021 | News | New Publication

Heavy Metal Toxicity and Mortality

MPIDR-Researcher Pekka Martikainen and his colleagues Kaarina Korhonen and Lasse Tarkiainen published an article on heavy metal toxicity and mortality in BMJ's Christmas Issue.

© 2021 BMJ Publishing group Ldt.

The researchers sought to assess the association between area-level density of heavy metal bands and cause-specific hospital admissions and mortality. Using Longitudinal register-based data from 311 municipalities in Finland, they find no evidence for adverse health outcomes with increasing density of heavy metal bands. Cities with a high density of heavy metal bands showed slightly lower rates of mortality and of hospital admissions for alcohol-related problems and self-harm.

Although residual confounding remains a problem in observational studies, vibrant local heavy metal scenes — comparable to many other forms of cultural capital — might help to promote health through healthier lifestyles, better coping mechanisms, and a stronger sense of community.

Original Publication

Martikainen, P., Korhonen, K., Tarkiainen, L.: Heavy metal toxicity and mortality—association between density of heavy metal bands and cause specific hospital admissions and mortality: population based cohort study. BMJ (2021) DOI: 10.1136/bmj-2021-067633


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MPIDR-Author of the Paper

Research Scientist

Pekka Martikainen


The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.