Alcohol-attributable burden of disease and injury in New Zealand: 2004 and 2007

Alcohol Australia New Zealand

Estimates of the 2000/02 burden of death and disability due to alcohol consumption in New Zealanders have been used widely by researchers and policymakers. In the eight years since the previous estimates were published, more recent alcohol consumption data and burden estimation methods have become available. This report responds to the need for revised New Zealand estimates of death and disability due to alcohol consumption. The report includes 35 different groups of health conditions causally related to drinking, and found that approximately 800 deaths per year in people under 80 were attributable to alcohol.


The first comprehensive estimates of the ‘burden of death, disease and disability due to alcohol in New Zealand’ were published in 2004 by the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand. The estimates in this previous report (NZBoA2000/02) were based on data from 2000 (mortality) and 2002 (disability-adjusted life years) and have since been widely used, for example by the New Zealand Law Commission in reviewing the impacts of alcohol in New Zealand. In the eight years since the NZBoA2000/02 report was published, new alcohol consumption survey data have been collected in New Zealand and there have been advances in several of the methods used to estimate alcohol-attributable mortality and morbidity (i.e. death and disability). In view of these changes and the perceived usefulness of New Zealand alcohol-attributable fraction and burden estimates to researchers and policymakers, a revision is warranted.

The aim of this ALAC-funded project was to use the most current data and methods available to calculate the following New Zealand estimates for mortality and morbidity due to alcohol-attributable conditions and injuries:

  • Alcohol-attributable deaths and years of life lost (YLLs) for 2004 and 2007.
  1. by age/sex/ethnicity (Māori/non-Māori) subgroup.
  • Alcohol-attributable disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 2004.
  1.  by age/sex subgroup.

Authored by: Jennie Connor and Robyn Kydd (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago), Kevin Shield and Jürgen Rehm (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto; World Health Organization Global Burden of Disease 2010 Risk Factors Collaborating Group).

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