Physical Health

How many Australians die each year from alcohol-related causes?

Alcohol-related deaths include those that arise from:

  • alcohol-related injuries
  • diseases that are associated with alcohol use
  • diseases that are directly caused by alcohol use.

In 2010, 1,171 Australians died from alcohol-caused diseases. Many more died from illnesses and injuries where their own or another person's alcohol use played a contributory role.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2010 Mortality Data (ABS secondary analysis, 2013).

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; special epileptic syndromes; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; alcohol toxicity; accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; poisoning by and exposure to alcohol, undetermined intent; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by blood alcohol level; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by level of intoxication. 

Are men or women in Australia more likely to die from alcohol-caused diseases?

Men are more likely than women to die from alcohol-caused diseases. In 2010, 875 men died from alcohol-caused diseases, compared to 296 women.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2010 Mortality Data (ABS secondary analysis, 2013).

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; special epileptic syndromes; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; alcohol toxicity; accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; poisoning by and exposure to alcohol, undetermined intent; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by blood alcohol level; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by level of intoxication. 

Are younger or older Australians more likely to die from alcohol-caused diseases?

Australians aged 50-59 years are the age group most likely to die from alcohol-caused diseases, followed by those aged 60-69 years.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2010 Mortality Data (ABS secondary analysis, 2013).

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; special epileptic syndromes; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; alcohol toxicity; accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; poisoning by and exposure to alcohol, undetermined intent; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by blood alcohol level; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by level of intoxication.

What are the most common alcohol-caused diseases from which Australians die?

The most common alcohol-caused disease from which Australians die is alcoholic liver disease, followed by mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2010 Mortality Data (ABS secondary analysis, 2013).

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; special epileptic syndromes; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; alcohol toxicity; accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; poisoning by and exposure to alcohol, undetermined intent; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by blood alcohol level; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by level of intoxication. 

Do men and women in Australia die from different alcohol-caused diseases?

Both men and women are most likely to die from alcoholic liver disease, followed by mental and behavioural disorders. Men are equally likely to die from accidental poisoning or from other alcohol-caused diseases, as are women (although at a lower rate). In general, men are more likely to die from alcohol-caused diseases than women. 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2010 Mortality Data (ABS secondary analysis, 2013).

Please note: Percentages do not tally to 100% due to the omission of alcohol-caused diseases with very low prevalence rates.

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; special epileptic syndromes; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; alcohol toxicity; accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; poisoning by and exposure to alcohol, undetermined intent; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by blood alcohol level; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by level of intoxication.

Do younger and older Australians die from different alcohol-caused diseases?

The incidence of alcohol-caused diseases tends to increase with age. Alcoholic liver disease is most common among middle-aged and older age groups. Mental and behavioural disorders show a particularly strong upward trend with age, and are not commonly found in those aged under 30 years. Accidental poisonings tend to be concentrated among those aged 40-59 years.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2010 Mortality Data (ABS secondary analysis, 2013).

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; special epileptic syndromes; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; alcohol toxicity; accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to alcohol; poisoning by and exposure to alcohol, undetermined intent; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by blood alcohol level; evidence of alcohol involvement in morbidity/mortality determined by level of intoxication.

How many Australians are hospitalised each year for alcohol-caused diseases?

There were 65,665 hospital separations due to alcohol-caused diseases in 2013-14. Many more Australians are hospitalised each year as a result of illnesses or injuries where their own or another person's alcohol use played a contributory role.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). National Hospital Morbidity Database 2013-14 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2016).

Please note: This is likely to be an under-estimation of the true number of alcohol-related hospital separations, as data for seven alcohol-caused diseases (alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood) are not publically available for confidentiality reasons.

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; and toxic effect of alcohol. For confidentiality reasons, the 2013-14 National Hospital Morbidity Database excludes data for alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood.

Hospital separation: An episode of care for an admitted patient, which can be:

  • a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death); or
  • a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

 Separation also means the process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care either by being discharged, transferring to another hospital, changing type of care, or dying.

Are men or women in Australia more likely to be hospitalised for alcohol-caused diseases?

In 2013-14, men accounted for more hospital separations due to alcohol-caused diseases than women.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). National Hospital Morbidity Database, 2013-14 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2016).

Please note: This is likely to be an under-estimation of the true number of alcohol-related hospital separations, as data for seven alcohol-caused diseases (alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood) are not publically available for confidentiality reasons.

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; and toxic effect of alcohol. For confidentiality reasons, the 2013-14 National Hospital Morbidity Database excludes data for alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood.

Hospital separation: An episode of care for an admitted patient, which can be:

  • a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death); or
  • a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

 Separation also means the process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care either by being discharged, transferring to another hospital, changing type of care, or dying.

Are younger or older Australians more likely to be hospitalised for alcohol-caused diseases?

In 2013-14, the largest proportion of hospital separations due to alcohol-caused diseases occurred among 40-49 year olds (27%), followed by 50-59 year olds (24%).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). National Hospital Morbidity Database, 2013-14 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2016).

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.

This is likely to be an under-estimation of the true number of alcohol-related hospital separations, as data for seven alcohol-caused diseases (alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood) are not publically available for confidentiality reasons.

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; and  toxic effect of alcohol. For confidentiality reasons, the 2013-14 National Hospital Morbidity Database excludes data for alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood.

Hospital separation: An episode of care for an admitted patient, which can be:

  • a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death); or
  • a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

 Separation also means the process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care either by being discharged, transferring to another hospital, changing type of care, or dying.

What are the most common alcohol-caused diseases for which Australians are hospitalised?

Of the 65,665 hospital separations due to alcohol-caused diseases in 2013-14, the majority of separations (82%) were due to alcohol-caused mental and behavioural disorders.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). National Hospital Morbidity Database 2013-14 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2016).

Please note: This is likely to be an under-estimation of the true number of alcohol-related hospital separations, as data for seven alcohol-caused diseases (alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood) are not publically available for confidentiality reasons.

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; and  toxic effect of alcohol. For confidentiality reasons, the 2013-14 National Hospital Morbidity Database excludes data for alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood.

Hospital separation: An episode of care for an admitted patient, which can be:

  • a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death); or
  • a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

Separation also means the process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care either by being discharged, transferring to another hospital, changing type of care, or dying.

Are men and women in Australia hospitalised for different alcohol-caused diseases?

Australian men and women are usually hospitalised for similar alcohol-caused diseases. In 2013-14, both men (78%) and women (88%) were most likely to be hospitalised for mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use. The second most common reason for hospital separations due to alcohol-caused disease was alcoholic liver disease.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). National Hospital Morbidity Database 2013-14 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2016).

Please note: This is likely to be an under-estimation of the true number of alcohol-related hospital separations, as data for seven alcohol-caused diseases (alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood) are not publically available for confidentiality reasons.

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; and  toxic effect of alcohol. For confidentiality reasons, the 2013-14 National Hospital Morbidity Database excludes data for alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood.

Hospital separation: An episode of care for an admitted patient, which can be:

  • a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death); or
  • a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

Separation also means the process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care either by being discharged, transferring to another hospital, changing type of care, or dying.

Are younger and older Australians hospitalised for different alcohol-caused diseases?

Mental and behavioural disorders are the most common alcohol-caused disease resulting in hospitalisation for all age groups. 

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). National Hospital Morbidity Database 2013-14 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2016).

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.

This is likely to be an under-estimation of the true number of alcohol-related hospital separations, as data for seven alcohol-caused diseases (alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood) are not publically available for confidentiality reasons.

Alcohol-Caused Disease: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own alcohol consumption.

Diseases classified as directly caused by alcohol use include: mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use; alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome; degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; alcoholic cardiomyopathy; alcoholic gastritis; alcoholic liver disease; alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis; alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); finding of alcohol in blood; and  toxic effect of alcohol. For confidentiality reasons, the 2013-14 National Hospital Morbidity Database excludes data for alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome; alcoholic polyneuropathy; alcoholic myopathy; maternal care for (suspected) damage to fetus from alcohol; fetus and newborn affected by maternal use of alcohol; fetal alcohol syndrome (dysmorphic); and finding of alcohol in blood.

Hospital separation: An episode of care for an admitted patient, which can be:

  • a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death); or
  • a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

Separation also means the process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care either by being discharged, transferring to another hospital, changing type of care, or dying.