Boozy Aucklanders more likely to be hospitalised than rest of country

Photo / 123rf
Photo / 123rf

Aucklanders aged between 60 and 64 are a shocking 107 per cent more likely to be hospitalised for alcohol-related harm than people in any other part of the country.

The rates of hospitalisation of people in that age bracket is 144 per 100,000 in the region, compared to 69 per 100,000 in the rest of the country.

The figures were released today by the Executive Planning Group, which oversees the implementation of Auckland's Action on Alcohol Plan.

The 2015 snapshot also found that 45-49 year olds in the region were 33 per cent more likely to be hospitalised with a condition that had resulted directly from the consumption of alcohol (139 per 100,000 compared to 105 per 100,000 in the rest of the country).

Overall, Aucklanders were seven per cent more likely to be hospitalised with alcohol-related harm than people elsewhere in the country.

Source: Auckland's Action on Alcohol Plan's Executive Planning Group
Source: Auckland's Action on Alcohol Plan's Executive Planning Group

Rates of late night assaults, 75 per cent of which are thought to be alcohol-related, were also elevated in Auckland.

These were 21 per cent higher in Auckland than in the rest of the country.

Alcohol-involved crashes was the only indicator demonstrating a lower rate.

Last year rates in Auckland were two per cent lower than the rest of country.

While 20 to 24-year-olds are more likely to be involved in an alcohol-related crash in Auckland, the rate of their involvement in these crashes was 19 per cent lower than the rest of the county.

The group's chair, Rebecca Williams of Alcohol Healthwatch, said a previous report showed Auckland had a higher rates of per-occasion consumption.

She said that while it was very concerning to see higher levels of alcohol-related harm in Auckland, the plan included a range of actions aimed at addressing those harms.

One of the objectives of the Action on Alcohol Plan was to improve monitoring and reporting on alcohol-related harm and to evaluate progress over time.

The Snapshot formed part of this activity, she said.

The Executive Planning Group has also commissioned a report looking at a range of alcohol-related harm indicators over time.

This is expected to be available in the next few weeks.

Auckland's Action on Alcohol Plan's Executive Planning Group
Auckland's Action on Alcohol Plan's Executive Planning Group

Types of wholly alcohol-attributable hospitalisations:
In 2015, of the hospitalisations that were caused by alcohol most (77 per cent) were due to mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol (including acute intoxication, harmful use, dependence, withdrawal state and psychosis).

Among the younger age groups - 15 to 19 and 20 to 24-year-olds, more than 80 per cent of hospitalisations were due to mental and behavioural disorders due to the use of alcohol (including acute intoxication, harmful use, dependence, withdrawal state and psychosis).

Among those aged 35 years and above, mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol also comprised the majority of hospitalisations, however, hospitalisations with a diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease were more common.

Hospitalisations were for the following conditions:
• Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol including: acute intoxication, harmful use, dependence syndrome, withdrawal state (including with delirium), psychotic disorder, amnesic syndrome, residual and late-onset psychotic disorder, other and unspecified mental and behavioural disorders that are all attributable to alcohol,
• Alcoholic liver cirrhosis,
• Alcohol toxicity (poisoning),
• Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (where alcohol weakens the heart muscle),
• Alcoholic gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach caused by excessive alcohol use),
• Alcoholic poly neuropathy (damage to the nerves that results from excessive drinking of alcohol),
• Alcohol induced pancreatitis.

Late night assaults:
Figure 2 shows rates of Police calls for service for late night assaults in 2015. At least 75 per cent of assaults between 9pm and 6am are estimated to be alcohol-related by police.

The rate of calls for service to police for assaults between midnight and 3.59am in the Auckland region was 21 per cent higher than the rate in the rest of the country (164 per 100,000 compared to 135 per 100,000 people aged 15+ years).

Between 4am and 6.59am the rate in Auckland was 49 per cent higher than the rate in the rest of the country (73 per 100,000 in Auckland versus 49 per 100,000 people aged 15+ years in the rest of New Zealand).

Auckland's Action on Alcohol Plan's Executive Planning Group
Auckland's Action on Alcohol Plan's Executive Planning Group

Alcohol-involved crashes:
In 2015 the rate of drivers in an alcohol-involved crash in the Auckland Region, resulting in an injury or fatality, was 2% lower than the rate in the rest of the country (33 per 100,000 people aged 15+ years compared to the rest of NZ rate of 34 per 100,000) (Figure 3).

When data were analysed by age, drivers in the age groups 20-24 years were observed to have the highest rate of alcohol-involved crashes, resulting in an injury or fatality, in the Auckland Region in 2015 (and the same was found for the 20-24 year olds in the rest of the country).

Among 20-24 year olds, the rate was 19% lower in the Auckland Region as compared to the rate in the rest of the country (76 crashes per 100,000 relative to the rate in the rest of the country of 94 crashes per 100,000).

- NZ Herald

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