HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Alcohol attributable hospitalisations

Males, 2017-18
619.6Males, 2016-17
608.5Males, 2015-16
585.4Males, 2014-15
578Males, 2013-14
577.5Males, 2012-13
567.8Males, 2011-12
556.8Males, 2010-11
536.3Males, 2009-10
525.9Males, 2008-09
537Males, 2007-08
533.1Males, 2006-07
527Males, 2005-06
485.5Males, 2004-05
473.5Males, 2003-04
462Males, 2002-03
460Males, 2001-02
493.2Females, 2017-18
395.9Females, 2016-17
374.9Females, 2015-16
365.2Females, 2014-15
369.7Females, 2013-14
377.9Females, 2012-13
362.4Females, 2011-12
365.1Females, 2010-11
348.7Females, 2009-10
347.1Females, 2008-09
345.8Females, 2007-08
328Females, 2006-07
306Females, 2005-06
273.4Females, 2004-05
261.7Females, 2003-04
267.3Females, 2002-03
257.6Females, 2001-02
268.1Persons, 2017-18
504.2Persons, 2016-17
488.2Persons, 2015-16
471.7Persons, 2014-15
470.1Persons, 2013-14
474Persons, 2012-13
462.3Persons, 2011-12
458.3Persons, 2010-11
440.1Persons, 2009-10
434.2Persons, 2008-09
438.7Persons, 2007-08
427.3Persons, 2006-07
412.9Persons, 2005-06
376.2Persons, 2004-05
363.9Persons, 2003-04
360.9Persons, 2002-03
355.3Persons, 2001-02
  • + Source

    NSW Combined Admitted Patient Epidemiology Data and ABS population estimates (SAPHaRI). Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health. Unpublished tables from Australian Burden of Disease Study, 2015. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

  • + Notes

    Calculated using age and sex-specific aetiological fractions from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015: methods and supplementary information.

    Only NSW residents are included. Figures are based on where a person resides, not where they are treated. Hospital separations were classified using ICD-10-AM. Rates were age-adjusted using the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.

    Patients treated solely within the emergency department are excluded from this indicator report due to a policy change (PD2017_015). Please note that a minority of patients being managed in short stay areas of emergency departments are still included. Further information is found in a paper in the HealthStatsPLUS Methods tab on this website.

    Numbers for recent years include an estimate of the small number of hospitalisations of NSW residents in interstate public hospitals, data for which were unavailable at the time of production. Further details can be found in the Methods tab in the following HealthStats NSW indicator:

    LL/UL 95%CI = lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval for the point estimate.

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

      Morbidity: Alcohol attributable conditions

      Condition ICD10 codes
      Alcohol use disorders F10
      Malignant Neoplasms
      Lip and oral cavity cancer C00-C08
      Nasopharyngeal cancer C11
      Other lip, oral cavity and pharynx cancers C09-C10 C12-C14
      Laryngeal cancer C32
      Oesophageal cancer C15
      Bowel cancer C18-C20
      Liver cancer C22
      Breast cancer C50
      Respiratory infections
      Lower Respiratory Infections J12,J14-J18, J20-J22, J85-J86
      Cardiovascular disease
      Hypertensive heart disease I11
      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 vehicle occupants V30-V79, V89.2, Y85.0
      Road traffic injuries - pedestrians V01-V09
      Road traffic injuries - pedal cyclists V10-V19
      Other land transport injuries V01-V06, V09-V89,Y85.9
      Poisoning X40-X49
      Falls W00-W19
      Fire, burns and scalds X00-X06, X08-X19
      Drowning V90, V92, W65-W70, W73-74
      Other unintentional injuries V91, V93-V99, W20-W46, W49-W60, W64, W75-W81, W83-W94, W99, X20-X39, X50-X54, X57-X58, Y35-Y36, Y86, Y89
      Suicide and self-inflicted injuries X60-X84, Y87.0
      Homicide and violence X85-X99, Y00-Y09, Y87.1

      NoteICD codes have been summarised. Numbers are calculated using age and sex-specific population attributable fractions from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015. For information on how these were applied in HealthStats NSW please see the Methods paper on Population Attributable Fractions.

  • + Related Indicators
  • + Associated Information
    • Key points: Alcohol

      Latest available information

      Latest available data for adults in NSW

      The 2019 NSW Adult Population Health Survey (self-reported using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing or CATI) estimated that:

      • 32.8% of adults (41.2% of men and 22.8% of women) consumed more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks on a day when they consumed alcohol.

      • 48.7% of Aboriginal adults consumed more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks on a day when they consumed alcohol

      • 26.7% of adults (34.7% of men and 19.1% 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 84 NSW public hospital emergency departments for alcohol. 

      • The rate of ED presentations among persons aged 18-24 years (402.5 per 100,000 population) was around 1.6 times that of persons aged 15 years and over (254.5 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 (326.9 and 321.5 per 100,000 respectively).

      • There were 10,129 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 84 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 45,005 hospitalisations were attributed to alcohol in NSW in 2018-19, which was approximately 1.5% 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 1.8 times higher than the rate in the non-Aboriginal population in 2018-19.

      There was considerable variation in the rate of hospitalisations attributable to alcohol between Local Government Areas (LGAs), with 21 LGAs having a rate significantly higher than the state average and 38 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 1,929 deaths were attributed to alcohol in NSW in 2018, which was approximately 3.6% of all deaths in 2018.

      The death rate attributable to alcohol has shown a slight decrease in recent years. The rates in males and females were 26.6 and 13.2 deaths per 100,000 population respectively in 2018.


      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, 2017-18. 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 August 2020