Australia’s Injury and Alcohol Burden

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) recently released an Australian Burden of Disease Study publication focusing on the contribution of alcohol to the burden of disease in Australia. The report, Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011, outlines that 6,660 people died in Australian in 2011 due to alcohol use, contributing to 4.5% of all deaths.

In 2011 the Australian burden of injury attributable to alcohol use was almost six times as high for males compared to females, 59,390 DALY and 11,320 DALY respectively. This higher rate has been associated with males experiencing greater burden due to road traffic, falls, suicide and violence injuries.

As displayed in the Table 1 below, the report highlights the injury areas in WA which had attributable burden due to alcohol use in 2011. The green rows represent lower alcohol attributions to injuries (< 0.05 DALY per 1,000 people), whilst the red rows represent higher attributable injury burden due to alcohol (>0.05 DALY per 1,000 people).

Age Standardised DALY Rate per 1,000 people
Suicide and self-inflicted injuries 1.0
Road traffic injuries – motor vehicle occupants 0.8
Accidental poisoning 0.4
Falls 0.4
Homicide and violence 0.2
Other unintentional injuries 0.2
Road traffic injuries – motorcyclists 0.2
Other land transport injuries 0.1
Other road traffic injuries 0.2
Drowning 0.1
Fire, burns and scalds 0.0

Table 1. Injury areas with attributable burden (DALY Age Standardised Rate per 1,000 people) due to alcohol use in WA in 2011.

Further information regarding alcohol as a risk factor for injury can be found in Know Injury’s alcohol resource kit.

To read the full AIHW report click here.