Alcohol kills 15 Australians every day - report

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Alcohol kills 15 and hospitalises 430 Australians every day, a new report says.

In a decade, the number of fatalities linked to alcohol has swelled by 62 per cent.

The report, called Alcohol's Burden of Disease in Australia, shows an increasing number of deaths and disability, along with a larger burden on the health service and social impacts across Australia, according to Turning Point researcher Belinda Lloyd.

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"The reality is that the long-term effects aren't just confined to one Saturday night, with serious health problems a genuine concern," Dr Lloyd said.

Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education chief executive Michael Thorn said urgent, national measures to address the price, promotion and availability of alcohol are needed to save lives.

"A decade ago alcohol was responsible for 3430 deaths per year. Now that figure stands at 5554," Mr Thorn said.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said Australia's drinking problem needs to be approached from all angles.

The report found injuries accounted for more than one in three alcohol-related deaths among Australian men, with cancer and digestive diseases causing 25 and 16 per cent respectively.

Among women, heart disease was the biggest alcohol-related killer, accounting for about a third of deaths.

The data from 2010 showed men were at far greater risk of alcohol-related harm than women.

More than 100,000 Australian men were hospitalised that year due to alcohol, compared with about 55,000 women. In the same year, alcohol killed 3467 men, compared to 2087 women.

Northern Territory residents are three times more likely to die from alcohol use than other Australians, the research found.


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