There is substantial evidence that alcohol-related harms are increasing despite alcohol consumption trends remaining stable in Australia. This pattern may be due to sub-population groups experiencing greater risk of high alcohol consumption and more related harms. However, recent research has indicated that groups which experience greater harm do not necessarily consume more alcohol than other groups and in some instances are drinking less than the average Australian. Therefore, it is important to focus beyond consumption to other factors that may increase a person’s vulnerability to alcohol-related harms.
VicHealth funded Turning Point to examine a range of factors that influence alcohol consumption, and vulnerability to alcohol-related harms in Victoria. These factors are referred to in this report as the social determinants of health and health inequities.
This research aims to inform policies and programs to address the inequitable burden of alcohol-related chronic disease on the Victorian community. It highlights the increasing burden and unequal distribution of alcohol-related chronic disease in Victoria. It also emphasises the prominent role that age, gender, residential location and social disadvantage may play in the differential levels of alcohol consumption and chronic harm. While not explored in this research, it is important to acknowledge that there are a range of other social determinants that are likely to influence the risk of alcohol-related harms.