Estimating Chronic Disease Deaths and Hospitalizations Due to Alcohol Use in Canada in 2002: Implications for Policy and Prevention Strategies
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Estimating Chronic Disease Deaths and Hospitalizations Due to Alcohol Use in Canada in 2002: Implications for Policy and Prevention Strategies

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    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Alcohol consumption is a factor that increases risk of chronic disease. This study estimates various indicators of alcohol-attributable premature chronic-disease morbidity and mortality for Canada in 2002.


    Information on mortality and morbidity was obtained from Statistics Canada and from the Canadian Institute for Health Information database. Data on alcohol use were obtained from the Canadian Addiction Survey and weighted for per capita consumption. Risk information was taken from published literature and combined with alcohol consumption information to calculate age- and sex-specific alcohol-attributable chronic disease morbidity and mortality.


    In Canada in 2002, there were 1631 chronic disease deaths among adults aged 69 years and younger attributed to alcohol consumption, and these deaths were 2.4% of the deaths in Canada for this age group. The net number of deaths comprised 2577 deaths caused and 947 deaths prevented by alcohol consumption. Moderate drinking was involved in 25% of deaths caused and 85% of deaths prevented by alcohol. There were 42,996 years of life lost prematurely in Canada due to alcohol consumption in 2002, 28,890 for men and 14,106 for women. In Canada in 2002, there were 91,970 net chronic disease hospitalizations attributed to alcohol consumption among individuals aged 69 years and younger. The net numbers were 124,621 hospitalizations caused and 32,651 hospitalizations prevented by alcohol consumption.


    With rising rates of alcohol consumption and extensive high-risk drinking, both chronic and acute damage from alcohol are expected to increase. Attention is needed to 1) create effective policies and interventions; 2) control access to alcohol; 3) reduce high-risk drinking; and 4) provide brief interventions for high-risk drinkers.

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