Temporal changes in alcohol-related mortality and morbidity in Australia

Rowan P. Ogeil, Caroline X. Gao, Jürgen Rehm, Gerrit Gmel, Belinda Lloyd

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Alcohol consumption is an avoidable risk factor for morbidity and mortality. Studies have examined relative risks and outcomes of alcohol-related harms in Australia at discrete times, limiting the ability to examine changes across time. This paper examined alcohol consumption and its contribution to deaths, illness and injury at two time-points, 2001 and 2010. Design: Alcohol consumption was modelled based on the 2001 and 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, upshifted to reflect alcohol sales data. Setting: All data reported are from Australian sources. Measurements: Based on relative risk estimates obtained from meta-analysis, alcohol-attributable fractions were estimated for 42 disease and injury categories in 2001 and 2010 separately for conditions that were not 100% alcohol-attributable. Deaths and hospital separations attributable to alcohol were calculated in 2001 and 2010. Findings: There was a relatively stable per capita consumption of alcohol across time, with males reporting higher levels of consumption compared with females. While there were increases in the number of abstainers from alcohol across time, the proportion of heavy alcohol consumers also increased. This corresponded with an observed increase in alcohol-attributable burden. For example, alcohol-attributable deaths increased from 4957 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 2867-8770] to 5610 (95% CI = 3398-9408) during the study period. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate that there has been an increase in alcohol-attributable harms between 2001 and 2010 in Australia without a corresponding increase in per capita consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-634
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol-attributable harm
  • Burden of disease
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Temporal changes

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