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)
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.
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.Direct age standardisation was used to calculate standardised rates and counts; Spatial adjustment methods were used to calculate the adjusted rates. Interpretation: '0' result not statistically different than state average, '-' lower than the state average at the 5% level of statistical significance , '--' at the 1% level; '+' greater than the state average at the 5% level of significance, '++' at the 1% level.
Local Government Area boundaries used were defined in 2016.
Estimates of the numbers and rates of deaths and hospitalisations attributable to the use of tobacco, alcohol, to high body mass and other risk factors used age and sex-specific aetiologic fractions for NSW developed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) as part of the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 (ABDS 2011).
The ABDS 2011 identified 30 risk factors for analysis, which were broadly grouped into categories (behavioural, metabolic, environmental and dietary risks). Details of the methods used in the ABDS 2011 to derive age and sex-specific aetiological fractions can be found in the report Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011: methods and supplementary information. This report provides the following overview of the methods (p 118):
The burden attributable to selected risk factors is generally estimated using population attributable fractions (PAFs) applied to the disease burden estimated in the ABDS 2011. If PAFs appropriate to the disease and population in question are available from a comprehensive data source (such as a disease register), they are applied directly. If not, PAFs are created using the comparative risk assessment method that has become standard practice in burden of disease risk factor analysis globally (Lim et al. 2012).
The comparative risk assessment method is a 5-step process:
1. Select risk–outcome pairs.
2. Estimate the population-level distribution of risk factor exposure.
3. Estimate the effect of risk factors on disease outcomes.
4. Define the counterfactual (theoretical minimum risk exposure distribution—TMRED).
5. Calculate the population attributable fraction.
The AIHW provided fractions for NSW mapped to ICD10 and ICD10-AM codes. These were applied to death and hospital unit record files for these reports.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2011—summary report. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 4. BOD 5. Canberra: AIHW.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Australian Burden of Disease 2011: methods and supplementary material. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 5. Cat. no. BOD 6. Canberra: AIHW.
Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, Danaei G, Shibuya K, Adair-Rohani H et al. 2012. A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380(9859):2224–60.
In order to complete a death registration in Australia, the death must be certified by either a doctor using the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, or by a coroner. Natural causes are predominantly certified by doctors, whereas External and Unknown causes or unaccompanied deaths are usually certified by a Coroner. Approximately 85-90% of deaths each year are certified by a doctor and the remainder is reported to a Coroner. The death is registered in the state in which the death occurred, rather than the state in which the person resides. The Australian Cause of Death Statistics System is outlined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics at http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/allprimarymainfeatures/47E19CA15036B04BCA2577570014668B?opendocument.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have implemented a revision process for Coroner certified deaths. Data are deemed preliminary when published for the first time, revised when published the following year and final when published two years after initial publication. This revision process, and the impact on specific causes are described at http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3303.0Explanatory%20Notes12015?OpenDocument .
The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes two publications every year: Deaths, Australia (Catalogue Number 3302.0) in November, eleven months after the end of the concerned year and Causes of death, Australia (Catalogue Number 3303.0), in March, fifteen months after the end of the year concerned.
The Australian Coordinating Registry (ACR) is an agency appointed coordinate access to coded cause of death unit record data on behalf of the Registrars of Births Deaths and Marriages in each state or territory as well as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and National Coronial Information System. The coordinating registry undertakes the coordination and management of the designated activity. The underlying legal responsibility is retained by the collective Registrars.
The ACR provides the NSW Ministry of Health with a national cause of death unit record file to allow detailed anaylsis of deaths data.
There is usually an interval between the occurrence and registration of a death which is related to the time of year or whether a death is refered to a Coroner. The registration of deaths which occur in November and December are likely to be delayed until the following year, for example, of all deaths in NSW registered in 2013, 6.9% occurred in 2012 or earlier (ABS 3302.0).
Deaths data reported by the ABS for the latest year are based on the year of registration therefore do not include deaths which occurred in that year but where registration was delayed. Deaths data reported in HealthStats NSW are based on the year of occurrence of the death. Estimates of missing deaths for the latest year due to delayed registration (ie due to time of year or Coronial cases) are imputed for each cause and included in the count for the reports in HealthStats NSW. A small percentage of death registrations may be delayed for more than one year. All deaths figures are updated historically (eg in trends) in this report when new data becomes available.
For the calculation of rates, the NSW Ministry of Health uses population projection estimates from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. The estimated residential populations which are not projected are the same as those published by the ABS and are currently based on the 2016 Census. See Methods associated with indicators in topics Demography (or Population) for further discussion of population estimates.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Deaths, Australia, latest year. 3302.0. Canberra: ABS, . Available at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3302.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of Deaths, Australia, latest year. 3303.0. Canberra: ABS, . Available at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3303.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Multiple Cause of Deaths, Australia, 1997-2001. 3319.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS, . Available at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3319.0.55.001
Mapping cases or rates of events of interest, such as rates of deaths, cases of a disease, or rates of smoking, can be very informative in understanding the geographical distribution of the events. However, low numbers and rates can occur if the event is rare or if the areas studied have small populations (‘small areas’). If numbers or rates are low, they may vary quite a bit from year to year by chance, and consequently be unreliable for reporting trends or comparisons.
Statistical spatial adjustment methods are used to improve the estimates for individual areas by including information on events in adjacent areas which are expected to be similar. In this report, spatial adjustment of numbers and rates in Local Government Areas was carried out by taking into account information from adjacent areas. Details of the spatial adjustment can be found in a methods paper.
The results of the spatial adjustment were used to determine whether the results obtained from individual areas are significantly different from NSW. The level of significance and the direction of difference from the NSW average is shown using plus and minus signs, as follows:
means more than 99.5% of the posterior distribution is above the unadjusted state rate. This indicates that the estimated LGA rate is significantly higher than the state average at the 1% level of significance.
means more than 97.5%, but less than 99.5% of the posterior distribution is above the unadjusted state rate. This indicates that the estimated LGA rate is significantly higher than the state average at the 5% level of significance.
means that between 2.5 and 97.5% of the distribution is above the unadjusted state rate. This indicates that the LGA rate is not significantly different to the state average.
means less than 2.5% of the posterior distribution is above the unadjusted state rate. This indicates that the LGA rate is significantly lower than the state average at 5% level of significance.
means less than 0.5% of the posterior distribution is above the unadjusted state rate. This indicates that the LGA rate is significantly lower than the state average at the 1% level of significance.
Local Government Areas (LGAs) are the spatial units which represent the geographical areas of incorporated local government councils. There were 153 LGAs in NSW in 2015. There were 13 LGAs with total populations less than 3000, and of these five had populations less than 2000 (based on population estimates as at June 2011). The areas with the smallest populations are particularly vulnerable to variation in their numbers and statstics due to chance.
The ABS publishes preliminary estimates of the residential population of LGAs in an annual March report including estimates concerning the previous year (ABS 3218.0 2015).
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Regional population growth, Australia, 2013-14. 3218.0. Canberra: ABS, 2015. Available at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3218.0
NSW Department of Planning and Environment. Population projections. http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Research-and-Demography/Demography/Population-Projections
Calculated using age and sex-specific aetiological fractions from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011: methods and supplementary information.
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).
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.
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.
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: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/ndshs-2016-detailed/contents/table-of-contents
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15. Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/allprimarymainfeatures/F6CE5715FE4AC1B1CA257AA30014C725?opendocument
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.
National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol. Canberra: NHMRC, 2009. Available at: https://nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-guidelines-reduce-health-risks-drinking-alcohol
NSW Ministry of Health. Reducing alcohol-related harm snapshot.
Australian Bureau of Statistics at http://www.abs.gov.au
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at http://www.aihw.gov.au
healthdirect at http://www.healthdirect.gov.au
NSW Health: Alcohol and other drugs website at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/aod/Pages/default.aspx
Your Room website at http://yourroom.com.au/
Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service at http://www.gethealthynsw.com.au/
Australian Bureau of Statistics at http://www.abs.gov.au
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at http://www.aihw.gov.au
healthdirect at http://www.healthdirect.gov.au