Proposed Changes for Calculating Alcohol-Related Mortality in England

Priscilla Lynch 

March 03, 2021

Public Health England (PHE) has launched a public consultation to gather views on its proposed changes to the methods used to calculate and update attributable fractions for alcohol-related mortality and hospital admissions.

Alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for many chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease and stroke. In 2018, there were approximately 24,720 alcohol-related deaths, and during 2018 and 2019 approximately 357,660 hospital admissions in England. This represented 2.1 per cent of total hospital admissions, 62 per cent of which were males and over half (57%) were aged between 45 and 74 years.

PHE recently updated the estimated risks for developing diseases associated with drinking alcohol compared with those who do not drink (relative risk) currently used to produce the Alcohol Attributable Fractions (AAFs) for indicators in Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE).

In 2020, PHE published Alcohol-attributable fractions for England: an update, which identified the most recent and robust evidence on the relative risks of disease associated with alcohol consumption, and the proportion of disease cases that can be attributed to alcohol. It updates the AAF estimates that were last published in 2013.

PHE proposes using these updated AAFs for its next publication of alcohol-related mortality and admissions. The intention would be to include a historical series of data over a number of years.

This consultation, therefore, presents analysis showing the impact of changing to the updated AAFs on the rates of alcohol-related mortality and hospital admissions as currently published.

For those interested in contributing to the consultation process, PHE advises reading the consultation document in full, giving consideration to its six key questions, and emailing responses to the questions to lape@phe.gov.uk.

The consultation closes at midnight 12 April 2021, and PHE plans to implement the proposed changes in its releases from 2021 subject to the feedback it receives.

References:

Proposed changes for calculating alcohol-related mortality. Public Health England. 2021 March 1.

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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