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Alcohol-attributable fractions for England

Lisa Jones, Mark A Bellis, Dan Dedman, Harry Sumnall, Karen Tocque

Centre for Public Health, Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, June 2008. ISBN: 978-1-906591-35-9 (web version)

 

Editor's Comment:
This study conducted in 2005 illustrates the alcohol-related burden of disease with data from England. Attributable fractions (the proportion of disease risk in a population that would not have occurred if exposure to a risk factor or set of factors had not occurred) were calculated for alcohol. Alcohol-attributable fractions (AAFs) were calculated for 47 conditions, of which 13 were by definition wholly attributable to alcohol consumption, and 34 were partially attributable to alcohol consumption. Based on the AAFs calculated, 3.1% of all deaths in England in 2005 were estimated to be attributable to alcohol consumption. Men were more at risk of harm from their alcohol consumption than women; 4.4% of male deaths were alcohol related, compared to 2.0% of female deaths. Young people were disproportionably affected by their alcohol use, for example, among 16–24 year old males, 26.6% of all deaths were estimated to be attributable to alcohol consumption.

The authors conclude that the 2005 figures of 14,982 deaths and 459,842 hospital admissions in England related to alcohol consumption, given the limitations of the evidence, are a conservative estimate of the harm attributable to alcohol consumption.

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