Alcohol and Premature Morbidity & Mortality

AlcoholExcess alcohol consumption is a growing public health problem, causing around 5.3% of deaths in those aged under 60 years worldwide (Rehm et al, 2009).

In England, about one in four adults aged 16-65 (about seven million people) drink hazardously or harmfully (Drummond et al., 2005).

Alcohol accounts for 10% of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) and costs to the NHS of around £3bn (€3.7bn; $4.8bn) each year (Balakrishnan et al, 2009).

High alcohol consumption is one of the top modifiable risk factors for premature morbidity and mortality, along with smoking and hypertension, yet much less research has been done on alcohol use disorders than on smoking or hypertension.


Rehm, J., Mathers, C., Popova, S., Thavorncharoensap, M., Teerwattananon, Y. & Patra, J. (2009) Global Burden of Disease and Injury and Economic Cost Attributable to Alcohol USe and Alcohol-use Disorders. Lancet. 373, pp.2223-2233.

Drummond, C., Oyefoso, A., Phillips, T., Cheeta, S., Deluca, P., Perryman K, et al. (2005) Alcohol Needs Assessment Research Project (ANARP). The 2004 National Alcohol Needs Assessment for England. London: Department of Health.
Balakrishnan, R., Allender, S., Scarborough, P., Webster, P. & Rayner, M. (2009) The Burden of Alcohol-related Ill Health i nthe United Kingdom. Journal of Public Health. 31, pp.366-373.

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