HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Alcohol attributable deaths

Males, 2015-2016
24.3Males, 2014-2015
24.7Males, 2013-2014
24.2Males, 2012-2013
23.7Males, 2011-2012
23.8Males, 2010-2011
24.2Males, 2009-2010
24.7Males, 2008-2009
24.8Males, 2007-2008
24.9Males, 2006-2007
26.1Males, 2005-2006
26.5Males, 2004-2005
26.7Males, 2003-2004
28.1Males, 2002-2003
29.8Males, 2001-2002
31Females, 2015-2016
14Females, 2014-2015
14.4Females, 2013-2014
14.4Females, 2012-2013
14.8Females, 2011-2012
15.6Females, 2010-2011
16Females, 2009-2010
16.3Females, 2008-2009
17Females, 2007-2008
17.6Females, 2006-2007
18.2Females, 2005-2006
18.6Females, 2004-2005
19.5Females, 2003-2004
20.8Females, 2002-2003
21.6Females, 2001-2002
21.6Persons, 2015-2016
19.3Persons, 2014-2015
19.7Persons, 2013-2014
19.5Persons, 2012-2013
19.4Persons, 2011-2012
20Persons, 2010-2011
20.4Persons, 2009-2010
20.8Persons, 2008-2009
21.2Persons, 2007-2008
21.7Persons, 2006-2007
22.5Persons, 2005-2006
23Persons, 2004-2005
23.6Persons, 2003-2004
25Persons, 2002-2003
26.3Persons, 2001-2002
  • + Source

    Mortality estimates for years up to 2005 are based on Australian Bureau of Statistics death registration data. Data from 2006 onwards were provided by the Australian Coordinating Registry, Cause of Death Unit Record File; the data for the most 2 recent years are preliminary (SAPHaRI, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health)

  • + Notes

    Calculated using age and sex-specific aetiological fractions from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011: methods and supplementary information.

    Only NSW residents are included. Deaths were classified using ICD-10.

    Counts of deaths for the latest years of data include an estimate of the number of deaths occurring in that year but registered in the next year. Data on late registrations were unavailable at the time of production.

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  • + Methods
  • + Codes
    • Codes for Population Attributable Conditions: Alcohol

      Mortality: Alcohol attributable conditions

      Condition ICD10 (AM) codes
      Alcohol use disorders F10
      Malignant Neoplasms
      Mouth and pharyngeal cancer C00-C14
      Laryngeal cancer C32
      Oesophageal cancer C15
      Bowel cancer C18-C20
      Liver cancer C22
      Breast cancer C50
      Diabetes mellitus
      Diabetes E10-E14 , O24
      Respiratory infections
      Lower Respiratory Tract Infections J12,J14-J22, J85-J86
      Influenza J9-J11
      Cardiovascular disease
      Coronary heart disease I20-I25
      Stroke I60-I69
      Atrial fibrilation and flutter I48
      Gastrointestinal disease
      Chronic liver disease B18, I85,K70-K76
      Pancreatitis K85-K86
      Neurological conditions
      Epilepsy G40-G41
      Road traffic injuries - motorcyclists V20-V29
      Road traffic injuries - motor vehcle occupants V30-V79, V87, V89, Y85.0
      Other road traffic injuries V01-V19, Y87.9
      Other land transport injuries V01-V86, V88-V89,V85.9
      Poisoning X40-X49
      Falls W00-W19
      Fire, burns and scalds X00-X19
      Drowning V90, V92, W65-W74
      Other unintentional injuries V91, V93-V99, W20-W60, W64, W75-W99, X20-X39, X50-X58, Y35-Y36, Y86, Y89
      Suicide and self-inflicted injuries X60-X84, Y87.0
      Homicide and violence X85-X99, Y00-Y09, Y87.1

      Note: ICD codes have been summarised. Numbers are calculated using age and sex-specific population attributable fractions from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011: methods and supplementary information. For information on how these were applied in HealthStats NSW please see the Methods paper on Population Attributable Fractions.

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    • Key points: Alcohol

      Latest available information

      Latest available data for adults in NSW

      The 2018 NSW Adult Population Health Survey (self-reported using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing or CATI) estimated that:

      • 31.5% of adults (40.9% of men and 22.5% of women) consumed more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks on a day when they consumed alcohol.

      • 43.5% of Aboriginal adults consumed more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks on a day when they consumed alcohol

      • 25.8% of adults (34.8% of men and 17.1% of women) consumed more than 4 drinks on a single occasion in the previous four weeks. 

      Latest available data for secondary school students in NSW

      • 13.7% of students aged 12-17 years (15.1% of boys and 12.3% of girls) consumed alcohol in the last 7 days as estimated from the 2017 NSW School Students Health Behaviours Survey (self-completed questionnaire).

      Overall trends in NSW

      Self-reported data on consuming more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks on a day have been collected for adults in NSW since 1997 through the NSW Population Health Survey, and since 1985 through the National Drug Strategy Household Survey. Data from an interviewer-administered questionnaire has been collected in the ABS National Health Survey (2017-18).

      Self-reported data on alcohol drinking in the past 7 days have been collected for students in NSW since 1987 through the NSW School Students Health Behaviours Survey.

      Prevalence estimates, although differing slightly between surveys because of different sampling frames, participation rates and modes of collection (telephone versus self-completed questionnaires versus face-to-face personal interview versus drop-and-collect) have remained constant over time for adults and fallen in school students.

      Alcohol problems in emergency departments

      In 2018-19 in NSW:

      • There were around 15,800 unplanned presentations to 86 NSW public hospital emergency departments for alcohol. 

      • The rate of ED presentations among persons aged 18-24 years (412.8 per 100,000 population) was around 1.6 times that of persons aged 15 years and over (259.3 per 100,000 population).

      • The rate of ED presentations among males aged over 15 years was around 1.8 times that of females aged over 15 years, however similar between males and females aged 15-17 years (326.3. and 318.3 per 100,000 respectively).

      • There were 10,126 presentations for alcohol-related problems among all males aged over 15 years and 1,532 in males aged 18-24 years (15% of total for males) compared with 5,673 for all females aged over 15 years and 1,423 for females aged 18-24 years (25% of total for females).

      Data are from 86 NSW public hospital emergency departments (EDs) that have reported continuously since 2009-10 and have collected reasonably complete diagnosis information since 2009-10. These EDs accounted for around 87% of all emergency department activity in NSW in 2018-19, consequently the presentations reported here are under-estimates of the actual NSW presentations. The under-estimation differs by geographical area, which precludes analysis by Local Health District, Primary Health Network, Local Government Area and remoteness from service centres. Data refer to all presentations to the included EDs regardless of patients' district or state of residence. 

      Hospitalisations attributable to alcohol

      A total of 49,356 hospitalisations were attributed to alcohol in NSW in 2017-18, which was approximately 1.7% of all hospitalisations.

      The rate of hospitalisations attributable to alcohol has been relatively stable in all persons in recent years. There is a consistent pattern over time of increasing rates with increasing rurality and geographic remoteness.  There is also a consistent pattern of higher rates in higher socioeconomic areas compared with more disadvantaged areas. The rate in the Aboriginal population was 2.3 times higher than the rate in the non-Aboriginal population in 2016-17.

      There was considerable variation in the rate of hospitalisations attributable to alcohol between Local Government Areas (LGAs), with 29 LGAs having a rate significantly higher than the state average and 35 significantly lower than the state average (at the 1% level of significance) in the period 2015/16-2016/17.

      Deaths attributable to alcohol

      A total of 1,759 deaths were attributed to alcohol in NSW in 2017, which was approximately 3.3% of all deaths in 2017.

      The death rate attributable to alcohol has stabilised in recent years. The rates in males and females were 23.0 and 13.1 deaths per 100,000 population respectively in 2017.


      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. National Drug Strategy Household Survey report. Available at:

      Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15. Available at:

      ·         In 2017, 26% of adults (35% of men and 17% of women) consumed more than 4 drinks on a single occasion in the previous four weeks, increasing their immediate risk of harm, as estimated from the 2017 NSW Adult Population Health Survey.

    • Introduction: Alcohol

      Alcohol and health implications

      Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the main preventable public health problems in Australia, with alcohol being second only to tobacco as a preventable cause of drug-related death and hospitalisation. 

      Long-term adverse effects of high consumption of alcohol on health include contribution to cardiovascular disease, some cancers, nutrition-related conditions, risks to unborn babies, cirrhosis of the liver, mental health conditions, tolerance and dependence, long term cognitive impairment, and self-harm.

      The guidelines to reduce the health risks from drinking alcohol, published by the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2009, state that the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury is reduced by drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day when drinking alcohol. These guidelines also state that drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the immediate risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion. In HealthStats NSW, the measure of lifetime risk of harm is defined as more than 2 standard drinks on a day when usually drinking, and is referred to as "long-term risk of harm" from alcohol consumption. As this definition is based on usual alcohol consumption, therefore representing an overall pattern of drinking, it reflects alcohol use related to health risk over the long-term.    

      Harm from alcohol-related accident or injury is experienced disproportionately by younger people; over half of all serious alcohol-related road injuries occur among 15–24-year-olds. However, harm from alcohol-related disease is more marked among older people.

      Useful websites:

      National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol. Canberra: NHMRC, 2009. Available at:

      NSW Ministry of Health. Reducing alcohol-related harm snapshot. 

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at

      healthdirect at

    • Interventions: Alcohol

      Information on the programs available for the prevention and management of alcohol-related harm can be found in the Reducing alcohol-related harm snapshot and the Ministry of Health website.

    • For more information: Alcohol

      Useful websites include:

      NSW Health: Alcohol and other drugs website at

      Your Room website at

      Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service at  

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at

      healthdirect at

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 29 October 2019