According to a 2012 joint Public Health Ontario (PHO) and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) report, one additional year of life can be expected for those that eliminate unhealthy drinking behaviours. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2012, about 3.3 million net deaths, or 5.9% of all global deaths, were attributable to alcohol consumption.
Alcohol-attributable mortality (AAM) is defined as the number of deaths in a population that are caused by alcohol use. AAM is calculated by estimating the Alcohol-Attributable Fraction (AAF) for specific alcohol-related causes (e.g. cirrhosis). The number of deaths attributable to alcohol for each of these causes are calculated separately and then added together to determine the total number of deaths that were caused by alcohol use. The data presented on this page follows the method posted on the Association of Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario (APHEO) website.
In Simcoe Muskoka, for the five-year period between 2007 and 2011, there were approximately 60 deaths per year that could be attributed to alcohol use. The age-standardized rate for alcohol-attributable deaths during this time period was 15.9 (14.1, 17.8) per 100,000 population 15 to 69 years of age. The age-standardized rate (per 100,000) of alcohol-attributable deaths was significantly higher for males (24.7 (21.5, 28.0)) when compared with females (7.2 (5.5, 8.9)).
Just over half of all alcohol attributable deaths had a chronic disease listed as a primary cause of death. The leading cause of chronic disease related alcohol-attributable deaths in Simcoe Muskoka between 2007 and 2011 was cirrhosis of the liver, followed by cancer (including: breast cancer, esophageal cancer, larynx cancer, liver cancer, oral cancer and ‘other’ cancers) and alcohol-related mental disorders (e.g. alcohol dependence). Other chronic disease related alcohol-attributable deaths include: alcoholic cardiomyopathy, alcoholic gastritis, alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis, degeneration of the nervous system due to alcohol, epilepsy and cardiac arrhythmias.
Intentional self-harm (i.e. suicide) was the leading cause of injury related alcohol-attributable deaths in Simcoe Muskoka between 2007 and 2011, followed by motor vehicle collisions and accidental poisonings. Approximately one-quarter of all injury-related alcohol-attributable deaths were classified as ‘other’, including: falls, drowning, fire, assault and other unintentional injuries (e.g. non-traffic accidents).
Although alcohol consumption increases with higher levels of income, alcohol-related harms (like deaths) disproportionately impact those with lower levels of income. In Simcoe Muskoka among the population 15-69 years of age, those living in neighbourhoods in the lowest income quintile experience twice the rate of alcohol-attributable deaths when compared to those in the highest income quintile.