• Open Access

Epidemiology of alcohol-related burden of disease among Indigenous Australians

Authors


Correspondence to:
Bianca Calabria, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2052. Fax: (02) 9385 0222; e-mail: b.calabria@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

Objective: To compare the burden of alcohol-related harm and underlying factors of this harm, by age and sex, for Indigenous and general population Australians.

Methods: Population attributable fractions are used to estimate the disability adjusted life years (DALYs) for alcohol-related disease and injury. The DALYs were converted to rates per 1,000 by age and sex for the Indigenous and general populations.

Results: Homicide and violence rates were much higher for Indigenous males: greatest population difference was for 30–44 years, Indigenous rate 8.9 times higher. Rates of suicide were also greater: the largest population difference was for 15–29 years, Indigenous rate 3.9 times higher. Similarly, for Indigenous females, homicide and violence rates were much higher: greatest population difference was for 30–44 years, Indigenous rate 18.1 times higher. Rates of suicide were also greater: the largest population difference was for 15–29 years, Indigenous rate 5.0 times higher.

Conclusions: Alcohol consumption and associated harms are of great concern for Indigenous Australians across all ages. Violent alcohol-related harms have been highlighted as a major concern.

Implications: To reduce the disproportionate burden of alcohol-related harm experienced by Indigenous Australians, targeted interventions should include the impact on families and communities and not just the individual.

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