Increase in alcohol-related deaths

18/10/2004 10:00

In 2002 nearly 1,800 people directly died from alcohol-related diseases or died while suffering from alcohol-related diseases. The majority of them were men.

Alcohol-related mortality increases by 25 percent

Since 1996 annual alcohol-related mortality in the age category 15 years and older has risen from about 1,400 registered cases to nearly 1,800 in 2002, an increase by approximately 25 percent.

Alcohol-related mortality by age

Alcohol-related mortality by age

Higher alcohol-related mortality partly caused by ageing of the population

Two in three deaths caused by alcohol are in the age category 45–69. Compared to 2002 one fifth of total mortality were in this age category. Death caused by alcohol is mainly found among over-45s. The higher number of alcohol deaths, however, is caused for about 40 percent by the ageing of the population. If age distribution is taken into account alcohol-related mortality grew by some 15 percent in the period 1996–2002.

Alcohol-related mortality by sex

Alcohol-related mortality by sex

Stronger increase in alcohol-related deaths among women

Alcohol-related mortality among women is considerably lower than among men. But through the years death caused by alcohol among women has grown stronger than among men. In 1996 alcohol mortality among men was over three times as high as among women compared to about two an a half times in 2002. In 2002 there were 20 alcohol-related deaths in every 100 thousand men and 7 in every 100 thousand women.

Alcohol-related mortality by cause of death

Alcohol-related mortality by cause of death

Mental disorders account for half of alcohol-related mortality

Mental and behavioural disorders as a consequence of excessive alcohol consumption accounted for more than half of alcohol-related mortality in 2002. It mainly concerns alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Liver diseases caused by excessive alcohol consumption are the second most important cause of death of all alcohol-related deaths.

The share of mental disorders slightly rose from 56 percent in 1996 to 59 percent in 2002, whereas the share of liver diseases caused by alcohol consumption decreased by 37 percent in 1996 to 34 percent in 2002.

Anouschka van der Meulen (Statistics Netherlands), Jacqueline Verdurmen and Margriet van Laar (Trimbos-instituut in Utrecht)