Health Barometer

The Health Barometer indicators and map applications* let you compare regional differences in morbidity within a specific year. Please note that the data should not be used for intraregional comparisons between different years. In the Health Barometer application focusing on diseases of public health importance, data for the previous year are updated in the following February, while the morbidity indicators are updated in May.

How the index of diseases of public health importance is calculated

Based on data in Kela’s registries, index numbers have been calculated for each Finnish municipality which show the prevalence of entitlement to special reimbursement for medicines used in the treatment of diseases of public health importance compared to the whole country average (=100). Demographic and reimbursement status data for the end of the year are used. Differences between municipalities which are due to differential age and gender distributions can be controlled by normalising the index numbers for age and gender.

How the morbidity index is calculated

Based on an index value calculated from Kela’s registry data for each municipality in Finland, this indicator describes the health of the local population in relation to the average for the country's total population (=100). Differences between municipalities which are due to differential age and gender distributions can be controlled by normalising the index numbers for age and gender. The figures are based on three register variables:

  • mortality
  • share of the working-age population who are retired on a disability pension
  • share of the population who are entitled to special reimbursement of medicine expenses, medicines with limited reimbursability, or dietary grants.

Each of the indicators is separately adjusted to the whole-country average, which is defined as 100. The morbidity index is the average of the three sub-indices.

Example of the way in which the morbidity index is calculated

How index numbers are used

The Health Barometer indices should not be construed as normal time series because they are normalised not to a standard population but to the population in each year. For example, if the index number for asthma in a given municipality is 120 in 2010, and 115 in 2013, we can say that the municipality has approached the whole country average. We cannot say that the prevalence of special reimbursement entitlements for asthma has decreased, because the calculation always takes into account the figures for the whole country.

Index values for preceding years are not affected by the update (other than in the event of a merger of two or more municipalities), and the index number for the country as a whole is 100 in all years.

*The map application requires the browser to support JavaScript and SVG. Opera has had native support for SVG since version 9 and Mozilla Firefox since version 2. The map application is also fully supported in Google Chrome. Internet Explorer requires a separate add-on (e.g. Adobe SVG Viewer).