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- ALCOHOL-ATTRIBUTABLE HEALTH HARM
- Declarations of interest
Aims Alcohol is a major risk factor for burden of disease and injury in Europe, and contributes markedly to between region differences in life expectancy. Monitoring and surveillance systems have shown to be a key factor in implementing effective policies. The aim of this paper is to propose a system of indicators for alcohol consumption and attributable harm which can be used as an over-time monitoring tool at the country level as well as for comparisons between countries.
Design A systematic research in electronic data bases was conducted but most of the information was derived from ongoing international efforts to establish alcohol monitoring and surveillance systems.
Setting European Union.
Measurements Exposure to alcohol, mortality, burden of disease.
Findings Adult per capita alcohol consumption, prevalence of abstention, and frequency of drinking more than 60g pure alcohol in one occasion are proposed as a minimal set of alcohol exposure indicators, which can quickly be implemented in all EU countries. With respect to health harm indicators, the best minimal choice which can be implemented quickly in all countries of the EU would be alcohol-attributable years of life lost due to premature death. In addition, country specific indicators could be added, when alcohol places specific burden on specific diseases.
Conclusions National and European Union-wide monitoring systems for alcohol exposure and attributable harm to inform public health-related policy decisions could be implemented easily. The establishement of such monitoring systems would follow the recent World Assembly resolution for a global strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm.