More people died from drinking alcohol than from Covid-19 last year, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Data released last week showed Covid-19 was the 34th cause of death in 2021, with 1122 deaths, most of which were associated with the Delta wave.
By comparison, 1559 Australians died from various conditions which were “definitely” caused by excessive drinking.
The ABS reported that Covid-19 deaths in 2021 had a median age of 79.1 which was slightly younger than in 2020 when the median age was 86.9.
It said people who died of Covid had “a higher tendency to have pre-existing chronic cardiac conditions”.
Overall the number of deaths in Australia during the second year of the pandemic was lower than the number of deaths in 2019.
Director of Mortality Statistics at the ABS Lauren Moran, said there were 171,469 deaths registered in 2021 at a rate of 507 deaths per 100,000 people.
This was 3.2 per cent higher than 2020 but lower than the 2019 pre-pandemic death rate (522 per 100,000).
Heart disease was the leading cause of death in 2021, with dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), stroke, lung cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases making up the top five causes.
Heart disease was the leading cause of male deaths while dementia was the leading cause among females.