Aims: The aim of the study was to assess whether alcohol-related mortality data in the UK should be extended to include contributory as well as underlying cause of death. Methods: A total of 101,320 deaths registered in Northern Ireland between 2001 and 2007 were analysed to determine the quantity and characteristics of those with an underlying or contributory alcohol-related cause of death. Results: Alcohol was found to be an underlying cause of death in 1690 cases (1.7% of deaths) and a contributory cause in a further 1105 cases. Analyses show that the addition of alcohol-related contributory causes of deaths would increase the male-female ratio, result in steeper socio-economic gradients and amplify the apparent rate of increase of alcohol-related deaths. The significant contribution of alcohol to external causes of death, such as accidents and suicide, is also more evident. Conclusions: Using only underlying cause of death undoubtedly underestimates the burden of alcohol-related harm and may provide an inaccurate picture of those most likely to suffer from an alcohol-related death, especially among younger men.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health
Durkin, K., Connolly, S., & O'Reilly, D. (2010). Quantifying Alcohol-Related Mortality: Should Alcohol-Related Contributory Causes of Death be Included? Alcohol and Alcoholism, 45(4), 374-378. [agq025]. https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agq025