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.

In 2013-14, Australian women accounted for 41% (n=26,935) of alcohol-caused hospital separations, while men accounted for 59% (n=38,730).

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.