200 Swedes die from work-related stress
Every year 200 Swedes die from work-related stress, according to a fresh report. In the official statistics, 50 to 60 people die in work-related accidents every year. However, according to the new report produced by Professor Bengt Järvholm and his colleagues, work kill more than that. “There’s a dark number when it comes to diseases caused by the work environment,” says Järvholm. “The death toll due to asbestos alone is about 50% that of deaths caused by accidents.” Cancer makes up for about half of all work-related deaths, according to the report. Heart attacks as a result of highly stressed occupations and little possibilities to change the situation will hit around 200 Swedes.

Beware of drunken drivers
If you’re on the road in Jämtland, then beware. Here the risk of running into drunk drivers is the greatest compared to the rest of the country. For many years now, Jämtland has had the highest number of drunken drivers. “It’s like some inherited stupidity,” says Anders Könberg, traffic police in Jämtland. “It’s not particularly surprising that here, where the population is sparse, people tend to take the car even if they’ve been drinking alcohol. It’s not a secret.” Few buses and lack of other public transportation may be why people drive under the influence. “If you’re going to a party in the neighboring village you can’t take the subway or bus, so many think ‘Oh, but I’m just going to the next village’,” Könberg says. During the last four years, Jämtland county has been continuously on the first spot when it comes to reported drunk driving offenses. 269 drunk drivers per 100 000 inhabitants in Jämtland in 2011 compared to 128 in Östergötland’s county. Police in Jämtland work consciously to position themselves at strategic locations and at times when drunk drivers are on the go. Outside Systembolaget (the government owned chain of liquor stores in Sweden) during the weeks, and at gas stations during the weekends. “We’re not supposed to work when we feel like it, but when business requires it,” Könberg explains. That statistics show a fair picture when it points to Jämtland as the county with most drunk drivers is something that Bengt Svensson, commissioner at Rikspolisen (the National Police), can attest to as well. “Many drive drunk up there,” he says. “People drink a lot. And looking at the blood alcohol content for drunken drivers there, they are also the highest up there.” But he also points out that many other counties ought to be similar to Jämtland. “But Jämtland also have good police work, if you have so many people drinking, you also have to have effective police finding them.” Though drunken driving is common, drivers driving under the influence of other drugs are pretty rare. The county has the third lowest proportion of drug-influenced driving compared to all of Sweden’s 21 counties. The five top counties when it comes to drunken driving are: 1. Jämtland (269 drunk drivers per 100 000 inhabitants) 2. Blekinge (225) 3. Värmland (221) 4. Örebro (213) and 5. Kalmar (204).

88-year old learning driver
An 88-year old man is now being prosecuted after having been caught driving without his driver’s license, with his wife, herself an older woman, in the passenger seat. The man’s driver’s license had been revoked prior, due to drunk driving, but he has admitted that he continued to drive anyway. According to the man it was all about driving with his wife as a supervisor, reports daily Aftonbladet.

Best dressed politician
Recently when asked what designer she preferred, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answered: “What designers of clothes?” Interviewer: “Yes.” Clinton: “Would you ever ask a man that question?” Well, maybe not, but experts in Sweden have taken a look at how Swedish politicians dress, and the winner is Göran Hägglund, party leader of the Christian Democrats. Author Barbro Hedvall has made a list of the best dressed party leaders and she says about Hägglund: “He seems interested in clothes.” Hedvall believes politicians use fashion as an instrument in politics: “Leaders have always shown their significance through clothes.” But a Swedish politician has to be careful, he must not be too over-the-top dressed up, must absolutely not be underdressed and must not appear too common. In her new book “Maktens signaler” (The signals of power), she writes: “Of all the party leaders, Göran Hägglund is the best dressed.” Otherwise, she feels Swedish politicians are quite boring and bland when it comes to fashion. “It used to be that you could gauge by what they were wearing what political party they represented, it is no longer like that.” Also, as of late, more and more leaders are without what used to be an obvious accessory: the tie. The Prime Minister as well as other ministers and executives often choose not to wear a tie these days. “When a leader doesn’t wear a tie, it spreads,” says Hedvall. “It can be a sign that you are now so powerful that you can do whatever you want. Göran Persson chose not to wear ties once he became a consultant.” There are times our politicians commit serious fashion faux pas. Such as when Prime Minister Reinfeldt and his wife Filippa stepped off the plane during a state visit to China, wearing short-sleeved soft sweaters, while the Chinese leaders were dressed to the nines. “That was a catastrophe! They looked like tourists. It was unbelievable. Someone among their staff ought to have done something about it.” The next Swedish election will take place in 2014, and Hedvall’s tip for the politicians is to go bolder: “Bolder clothes, dyed hair and designed eye wear. You have to say: Elect me.”

Increased sales of painkillers
The sales of over-the-counter pain killers like Alvedon and Ipren (both of which include paracetamol) have increased close to 40% in the county of Kalmar during the past five years, according to new statistics from Apoteket (literally “the Pharmacy” the national pharmaceuticals company in Sweden). On an average each household in the county spend 214 SEK ($32) on these medications a year. A certain amount of the increase is related to the fact that prices have gone up, but according to pharmaceutical researchers, also because we decide to take action over our pain ourselves, rather than seeking out a doctor.