Along with the process of the epidemiological transition, northern Finland has experienced an increase of cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, and accidental and suicidal deaths, particularly in the male population, while the females of northern Finland have shown rather favourable trends during the post-war period. Northern Finland shows a clustering of severe health problems such as coronary heart disease, accidents and suicides in smaller areas, e.g. in north-central Lapland, which records mortality rates 2-3 times higher than areas of lowest mortality. There is some indication of a high prevalence of smoking, increased serum lipids, blood pressure, body weight and alcohol consumption in the areas of highest morbidity and mortality, but evidence based on representative population samples is missing. Accidents and suicides are also common in the Sâmi (Lapp) area but coronary heart disease is rare, despite the unfavourable risk factor patterns.