Quantifying Alcohol-Related Mortality: Should Alcohol-Related Contributory Causes of Death be Included?

Katherin Durkin, Sheelagh Connolly, Dermot O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberagq025
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Toxicology


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