21 july 2021

Evolution of mortality attributable to alcohol in Spain according to age, sex, cause of death and type of drinker (2001-2017)

There are no recent estimates of alcohol-attributable mortality in Spain with Spanish alcohol consumption data. The objective is to estimate it and know its evolution between 2001 and 2017 in people >/=15 years, according to sex, age, period, cause of death and type of drinker. The cause-specific approach and Levin's equation were used. Survey consumption was corrected for underestimation with respect to sales statistics, and past consumption and binge drinking were considered. The average annual number of deaths attributable to alcohol in 2010-2017 was 14,927, 58.6% of which were premature (<75 years). The age-standardized alcohol-attributable mortality rate was 39.4/100,000 inhabitants, representing 3.9% of overall mortality. Using standardized percentages, 68.7% corresponded to heavy drinkers. The most frequent causes of alcohol-attributable mortality were cancer (44.7%) and digestive diseases (33.2%). The rate of alcohol-attributable mortality was 3.5 times higher in men than in women (with higher ratios for young people and external causes). Between 2001-2009 and 2010-2017, the average annual rate decreased 16.8% (60.7% in 15-34 years; 19.4% in men and 9.8% in women). The contribution of heavy drinkers, digestive diseases and external causes to the risk of alcohol-attributable mortality decreased slightly between the two periods, while the contribution of cancer and circulatory diseases increased. These estimates are conservative. The contribution of alcohol to overall mortality is significant in Spain, requiring collective action to reduce it.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Donat M.; Sordo L.; Belza M. J.; Hoyos J.; Regidor E.; Barrio G.
  • Published Date

    21 july 2021