Pandemic spurred rise in alcohol-related deaths

New ABS data shows death-rate is highest in a decade

Pandemic spurred rise in alcohol-related deaths
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Alcohol-related deaths are the highest they have been in 10 years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Data published this week revealed that 1559 people died last year from various conditions which were definitively caused by excessive drinking.

The deaths comprised 1156 men and 403 women.

According to the ABS, there were 5.4 alcohol-induced deaths for every 100,000 people living in Australia last year, up from 5.1 in the previous two years.

It marks an additional 107 alcohol-induced deaths compared with 2020.

“For males, the rate is the highest in the 10-year time series at 8.3 deaths per 100,000 people (8.1% increase since 2020),” the report said.

“The rate for females remained the same as in 2020.”

Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education CEO Caterina Giorgi called for greater restrictions on alcohol advertising.

She said the pandemic had exacerbated the use of alcohol and she worried that the situation would grow worse as cost-of-living pressures took their toll on families.

The ABS reported that there were 171,469 deaths in 2021, and that heart disease continued to be the leading cause of death, accounting for 10% of deaths.

Covid-19 ranked as the 34th leading cause of death last year, with 1122 fatalities.

Influenza and pneumonia deaths did not appear in the 20 leading causes of death for the first time in 10 years.

There were just two deaths from influenza recorded last year, a record low.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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