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A Comparison of the Alcohol Attributable Mortality in Four European Countries


European Journal of Epidemiology. 2003;18(7):643-651

Deaths due to alcohol consumption are an important component of all-cause mortality, particularly premature mortality. However, there are considerable regional variations, the reasons for which are unclear. Estimates were made as reliable as possibly using vital statistics and best estimates of risk of the alcohol attributable mortality, by age, sex and cause, for four European countries (England and Wales, Germany, Denmark and Italy).

Twenty-seven alcohol-related conditions were considered, including the possible cardio-protective effects of alcohol. Possible explanations for the variation in alcohol-attributable deaths between countries include different underlying heart disease rates, different patterns of alcohol consumption and beverage preferences, and different use of mortality classification. Differences in the reported alcohol consumption levels explain little of the variation in alcohol-attributable deaths.

Estimating alcohol-attributable mortality by age and sex across countries may be a useful indicator for developing alcohol strategies and exploring ways of preventing premature mortality.

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