Objective - To study the possible changes, between 1986 and 1995, in the mortality due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) among Finnish patients. Materials and methods - A total of 1000 deaths from ALS were extracted from the Finnish Death Certificate Register for the study years. General population data were obtained from the Statistical Yearbooks of Finland. Results - From a death rate of 1.54/100,000 in 1986 an increase to 2.27/100,000 in 1995 was observed. Since 1963 the number of ALS deaths has tripled. The documented increased life-expectancy in Finland correlates with the ALS death rate, at least partly explaining the increase. Contrary to other countries, on the whole equal numbers of men and women died of ALS. Women tended to be older than men when they died of ALS. Conclusion - In accordance with other countries ALS mortality in Finland is steadily increasing.