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Alcohol-attributable mortality in France

Sylvie Guérin, Agnès Laplanche, Ariane Dunant, Catherine Hill
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckt015 ckt015 First published online: 4 March 2013


Background: Alcohol consumption is high in France. Aim: Estimation of alcohol-attributable mortality in France by sex, age and dose, for year 2009. Method: We combined survey and sales data to estimate the prevalence of alcohol consumption by age, sex and dose category. For each cause of death, the relative risk of death as a function of dose was obtained from a meta-analysis and combined with prevalence data to obtain the attributable fraction; this fraction multiplied by the number of deaths gave the alcohol-attributable mortality. Results: A total of 36 500 deaths in men are attributable to alcohol in France in 2009 (13% of total mortality) versus 12 500 in women (5% of total mortality). Overall, this includes 15 000 deaths from cancer, 12 000 from circulatory disease, 8000 from digestive system disease, 8000 from external causes and 3000 from mental and behavioural disorder. The alcohol-attributable fractions are 22% and 18% in the population aged 15 to 34 and 35 to 64, respectively, versus 7% among individuals aged 65 or more. Alcohol is detrimental even at a low dose of 13 g per day, causing 1100 deaths. Conclusion: With 49 000 deaths in France for the year 2009, the alcohol toll is high, and the effect of alcohol is detrimental even at low dose. Alcohol consumption is responsible for a large proportion of premature deaths. These results stress the importance of public health policies aimed at reducing alcohol consumption in France.

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