• alcohol;
  • burden of disease;
  • adult per capita consumption;
  • patterns of drinking;
  • average volume of consumption


Alcohol has been identified as one of the most important risk factors in the burden experienced as a result of disease. The objective of the present contribution is to establish a framework to comparatively quantify alcohol exposure as it is relevant for burden of disease. Different key indicators are combined to derive this quantification. First, adult per capita consumption, composed of recorded and unrecorded consumption, yields the best overall estimate of alcohol exposure for a country or region. Second, survey information is used to allocate the per capita consumption into sex and age groups. Third, an index for detrimental patterns of drinking is used to determine the additional impact on injury and cardiovascular burden. The methodology is applied to estimate global alcohol exposure for the year 2002. Finally, assumptions and potential problems of the approach are discussed. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.