Breast cancer leading cause of alcohol-attributable death in New Zealand women

July 15, 2013, University of Otago
Breast cancer leading cause of alcohol-attributable death in New Zealand women

(Medical Xpress)—Alcohol is responsible for more than one-in-twenty deaths of New Zealanders aged under 80, new University of Otago research suggests. Although most harm to young people's health from drinking is through injury, alcohol also contributes to chronic diseases, and breast cancer is the leading cause of death from alcohol in both Māori and non-Māori women overall.

A new assessment of the burden of ill health due to in New Zealand, commissioned by the Alcohol Advisory Council, is published today (July 15) by the Health Promotion Agency. The report, 'Alcohol-attributable burden of disease and injury in New Zealand: 2004 and 2007' included 35 different groups of causally related to drinking, and found that approximately 800 deaths per year in people under 80 were attributable to alcohol.

Professor Jennie Connor and Robyn Kydd from the University's Department of Preventive and Social Medicine in Dunedin conducted the study in collaboration with the WHO Global Burden of Disease 2010 Risk Factors Collaborating Group, based in Toronto.

The report confirms the significant impact of heavy drinking and intoxication on , with 43% of all alcohol deaths being due to injuries, and much of the burden of non-fatal conditions being due to alcohol use disorders.

Professor Connor says the report also highlights alcohol's important toxic and carcinogenic properties, and that for many there is no threshold for safe consumption. More than 30% of alcohol-attributable deaths were due to cancers, including breast and .

"This study demonstrates that alcohol consumption is one of the most important for avoidable mortality and disease in early and middle adulthood, and contributes substantially to loss of good health across the life course," she says.

More alcohol-related harm was seen in men than in women, and in M?ori than in non-M?ori. These differences were largely due to differences in alcohol consumption patterns.

"Alcohol has so many different impacts on health that summaries at a population level are needed for us to understand the magnitude of the issue as a whole and the importance of healthy alcohol policy.

"In addition to the wide range of physical health conditions included in this study, we need to remember that there are many effects of heavy drinking on communities that are not able to be reflected in studies such as this", says Professor Connor.

Health Promotion Agency (HPA) General Manager Policy, Research and Advice, Dr Andrew Hearn, says the report is a valuable addition to the evidence of the impact of alcohol on people's health and as a cause of injury across the population in New Zealand.

"Reports such as this can be used to inform preventive strategies and their priorities," he says.

Explore further: Unhealthy drinking widespread around the world, study shows

Related Stories

Unhealthy drinking widespread around the world, study shows

March 4, 2013
A new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows that alcohol is now the third leading cause of the global burden of disease and injury, despite the fact most adults worldwide abstain from drinking.

Study shows alcohol consumption is a leading preventable cause of cancer death in the US

February 14, 2013
Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have shown that alcohol is a major contributor to cancer deaths and years of potential life lost. These ...

Alcohol sales fall due to ban on multi-buy promotions

May 22, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A report published today shows a 2.6% decrease in the amount of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland in the year following the introduction of the Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act in October 2011.

Combination of smoking and heavy drinking 'speeds up cognitive decline'

July 10, 2013
The combination of smoking and heavy drinking speeds up cognitive decline, according to new research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Alcohol consumption has no impact on breast cancer survival

April 8, 2013
Although previous research has linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk of developing breast cancer, a new study has found that drinking before and after diagnosis does not impact survival from the disease. In fact, ...

Researcher finds association between finasteride and decreased levels of alcohol consumption

June 13, 2013
Researcher Michael S. Irwig, M.D., F.A.C.E., assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and director of the Center for Andrology at The GW Medical ...

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.