Association of alcohol consumption to mortality and person-years of life lost in Switzerland--measuring the impact of some methodological options

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_773B342F1680
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
Association of alcohol consumption to mortality and person-years of life lost in Switzerland--measuring the impact of some methodological options
Journal
European Journal of Epidemiology
Author(s)
Gutjahr  E., Gmel  G.
ISSN
0393-2990 (Print)
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2005
Volume
20
Number
1
Pages
37-47
Notes
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: The present study is designed to estimate the health impact of alcohol consumption in terms of the number of deaths and person-years of life lost (PYLL) in Switzerland. To that end, three hypothetical situations have been compared to the current situation used as a reference. The underlying question was: how many deaths and person-years of life lost would be avoided if all individuals were: (1) non-drinkers, (2) low drinkers only or (3) both (either abstainers or low level drinkers)? METHODS: Etiological fractions of alcohol-related health consequences by age and gender were applied to the officially reported numbers of deaths to estimate the total number of deaths and PYLL. RESULTS: Depending upon the hypothetical situation, the estimated number of alcohol-related deaths varied between an overall net protective and an overall net causal effect: in situation (1), there would occur 730 additional deaths in reference to the current situation (+1.2% of the total alcohol-related mortality in Switzerland), whereas in situation (2) there would be 3460 deaths less (-5.5%). Thus, the current situation in Switzerland would be preferable compared to a society, in which no one drinks alcohol. A society, however, in which every individual drinks at low levels, would be preferable to the current situation. The corresponding figures for PYLL are 23,596 vs. 29,229 (6.4% vs. 7.9% of total PYLL). CONCLUSIONS: The hypothetical situation decisively impacts on the number of deaths attributable to alcohol. In contrast, it has much less influence on the number of alcohol-related PYLL. Thus, mortality is at least a questionable indicator of alcohol-related health outcomes. The study also indicated that more lives and PYLL were saved in the low-risk situation than in the abstinence situation. Public health policies should not concentrate on the promotion of abstinence.
Keywords
Adolescent Adult Aged Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology/*physiopathology Female Health Policy Humans Male Middle Aged Public Health *Quality-Adjusted Life Years Switzerland/epidemiology
Pubmed
Web of science
Create date
25/01/2008 17:16
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:34
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