HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Alcohol attributable deaths

Males, Major cities, 2014-2015
22.2Males, Major cities, 2013-2014
22.2Males, Major cities, 2012-2013
21.7Males, Major cities, 2011-2012
21.8Males, Major cities, 2010-2011
22.4Males, Major cities, 2009-2010
23Males, Major cities, 2008-2009
23.2Males, Major cities, 2007-2008
23.8Males, Major cities, 2006-2007
24.8Males, Major cities, 2005-2006
24.9Males, Major cities, 2004-2005
25.2Males, Major cities, 2003-2004
26.5Males, Major cities, 2002-2003
27.6Males, Major cities, 2001-2002
28.9Males, Rest of NSW, 2014-2015
30.6Males, Rest of NSW, 2013-2014
29.4Males, Rest of NSW, 2012-2013
29.3Males, Rest of NSW, 2011-2012
29.4Males, Rest of NSW, 2010-2011
28.7Males, Rest of NSW, 2009-2010
28.5Males, Rest of NSW, 2008-2009
28.3Males, Rest of NSW, 2007-2008
27.6Males, Rest of NSW, 2006-2007
29.4Males, Rest of NSW, 2005-2006
30.8Males, Rest of NSW, 2004-2005
30.7Males, Rest of NSW, 2003-2004
32.1Males, Rest of NSW, 2002-2003
35.4Males, Rest of NSW, 2001-2002
36.3Females, Major cities, 2014-2015
14.2Females, Major cities, 2013-2014
14.1Females, Major cities, 2012-2013
14.4Females, Major cities, 2011-2012
15Females, Major cities, 2010-2011
15.3Females, Major cities, 2009-2010
15.8Females, Major cities, 2008-2009
16.6Females, Major cities, 2007-2008
17.4Females, Major cities, 2006-2007
18Females, Major cities, 2005-2006
18.4Females, Major cities, 2004-2005
19.3Females, Major cities, 2003-2004
20.3Females, Major cities, 2002-2003
21.1Females, Major cities, 2001-2002
21.3Females, Rest of NSW, 2014-2015
16.1Females, Rest of NSW, 2013-2014
16.3Females, Rest of NSW, 2012-2013
16.6Females, Rest of NSW, 2011-2012
17.9Females, Rest of NSW, 2010-2011
18.3Females, Rest of NSW, 2009-2010
18.4Females, Rest of NSW, 2008-2009
18.7Females, Rest of NSW, 2007-2008
18.9Females, Rest of NSW, 2006-2007
19.3Females, Rest of NSW, 2005-2006
20Females, Rest of NSW, 2004-2005
20.9Females, Rest of NSW, 2003-2004
22.6Females, Rest of NSW, 2002-2003
23.6Females, Rest of NSW, 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

    Excludes conditions where low to moderate alcohol consumption has an apparent overall protective effect.

    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. Rates were age-adjusted using the Australian population as at 30 June 2001. #n_codurfl# LL/UL 95%CI = lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval for the point estimate.

    Statistical Areas are grouped according to Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS) remoteness categories on the basis of Accessibility/Remoteness Index for Australia (ARIA version) score.

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  • + Methods
  • + Codes
    • Codes: Aetiologic fractions

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

  • + Related Indicators
  • + Associated Information
    • 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

      There were just over 14,700 unplanned presentations to 86 NSW public hospital emergency departments for alcohol problems in NSW in the 2017-18 financial year. In 2017-18, the rate of ED presentations was around 50% higher among those aged 18-24 years  (378.8 per 100,000 population) compared with all those aged 15 years and over (241.6 per 100,000 population) in NSW. In 2017-18, ED presentation rates and numbers were around 71% higher for males compared with females aged over 15 years, however were slightly higher for females aged 15-17 years compared with males (284.2. and 267.8 per 100,000 respectively). In 2017-18, there were 9,350 presentations for alcohol-related problems among all males aged over 15 years and 1,403 in males aged 18-24 years (15% of total for males) compared with 5,364 for all females aged over 15 years and 1,315 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 2007 and have collected reasonably complete diagnosis information since 2007. These EDs accounted for around 86% of all emergency department activity in NSW in 2017-18, 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, 11 December 2018