Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Study: Burden of Disease Associated with Alcohol-use Disorders Higher Than Previously Thought

In a paper published online last week in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, a group of international researchers have brought fresh eyes to a familiar data set: the NIAAA's NESARC. Whereas past studies have estimated the alcohol-attributable global burden of disease, or rates of alcohol-attributable deaths and years of life lost, no study has focused specifically on the burden of disease in the United States associated with alcohol-use disorders (AUD). This is important, the authors note, because alcohol-use disorders (including "abuse" and "dependence" from DSM or "the harmful use of alcohol" from ICD) "were identified as the largest disease category contributing to the alcohol-attributable global burden of disease for the year 2004, making up approximately one-third of this burden." By using US-specific data, including population and death statistics as well as Waves 1 and 2 of the NESARC, the authors were able to estimate the burden of disease from AUD in the US in 2005.


"In the United States in 2005, 65,000 deaths, 1,152,000 years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLL), 2,443,000 years of life lost due to disability (YLD), and 3,595,000 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost were associated with AUD. For individuals 18 years of age and older, AUD were associated with 3% of all deaths (5% for men and 1% for women), and 5% of all YLL (7% for men and 2% for women). The majority of the burden of disease associated with AUD stemmed from YLD, which accounted for 68% of DALYs associated with AUD (66% for men and 74% for women). The youngest age group had the largest proportion of DALYs associated with AUD stemming from YLD."

Some figures from the article:

Prevalence of alcohol use disorders by category, sex, and age in 2005. 


Proportion of all deaths associated with alcohol use disorders in 2005, by sex and age

You can read the abstract of the paper by Rehm, et al. here:

Would love to hear readers reactions to these numbers. 

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