Educational inequalities in epilepsy mortality in the Baltic countries and Finland in 2000-2015
Scientific Reports, 12:4597, 1–8 (2022)
Little is known about socioeconomic differences in epilepsy mortality. This study examined educational inequalities in epilepsy mortality in the general population in the Baltic countries and Finland in 2000-2015. Education-specific mortality estimates for individuals aged 30-74 in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were obtained from census-linked mortality datasets while data for Finland came from the register-based population and death data file of Statistics Finland. Trends and educational inequalities in epilepsy mortality were assessed using age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) per 100,000 person years and age-adjusted mortality rate ratios (RRs) calculated using Poisson regression. ASMRs were higher in men than women in all countries. ASMRs reduced in 2000-2015 among all men and women except for Finnish women. Among men, an inverse educational gradient in epilepsy mortality in 2000-2007 widened in 2008-2015 with ASMRs falling among high and mid educated men in all countries but increasing among low educated men in three countries. An inverse educational gradient in female mortality remained in all countries throughout 2000-2015. Although epilepsy mortality fell in the Baltic countries and Finland (men only) in 2000-2015, this masked a clear inverse educational gradient in mortality that became steeper across the period.
Keywords: Baltic Countries, Finland, differential mortality, education