Background: The northern regions of the Nordic countries have common challenges of sparsely populated areas, long distances, and an arctic climate. The aim of this study was to compare the cause and rate of fatal injuries in the northernmost area of the Nordic countries over a 5-year period. Methods: In this retrospective cohort, we used the Cause of Death Registries to collate all deaths from 2007 to 2011 due to an external cause of death. The study area was the three northernmost counties in Norway, the four northernmost counties in Finland and Sweden, and the whole of Iceland. Results: A total of 4308 deaths were included in the analysis. Low energy trauma comprised 24% of deaths and high energy trauma 76% of deaths. Northern Finland had the highest incidence of both high and low energy trauma deaths. Iceland had the lowest incidence of high and low energy trauma deaths. Iceland had the lowest prehospital share of deaths (74%) and the lowest incidence of injuries leading to death in a rural location. The incidence rates for high energy trauma death were 36.1/100000/year in Northern Finland, 15.6/100000/year in Iceland, 27.0/100000/year in Northern Norway, and 23.0/100000/year in Northern Sweden. Conclusion: We found unexpected differences in the epidemiology of trauma death between the countries. The differences suggest that a comparison of the trauma care systems and preventive strategies in the four countries is required.
© 2021, The Author(s).