New NAIP research on alcohol-related ED presentations

The fourteenth National Alcohol Indicators Project (NAIP) bulletin, Trends in estimated alcohol-related emergency department presentations in Australia, 2005-06 to 2011-12, has been released by the National Drug Research Institute. NAIP Bulletin 14 is the first Australian publication to document nationwide trends in alcohol-related emergency department (ED) presentations over time.

The bulletin shows estimated trends in alcohol-related ED presentations for each Australian state (except Tasmania) over a recent 7-year period. Presentation rates were higher among males than females across all jurisdictions, however the rate that Australian women presented at EDs for alcohol-related injuries increased faster than for males. Rates of teenage presentations were higher than for any of the other age groups.

  • The rate of alcohol-related ED presentations for women in 2011-12 was 3.41 per 1000 persons, an increase of 44% on the 2.36 per 1000 figure recorded in 2005-06.
  • By comparison, the rate of male alcohol-related ED presentations was 5.66 per 1000 persons in 2011-12, a 30% increase compared to 4.33/1000 in 2005-06.
  • The rate of alcohol-related ED presentations for girls aged 15-19 increased 63% from 2005-06 to 2011-12, from 4.6/1000 to 7.5/1000. By comparison the rate for males in the same age group rose 21%, from 10/1000 to 12.9/1000. This appears to be the highest rate of any age group.

While the high frequency of ED presentations makes the data a strong indicator of alcohol-related harm, researchers believe the figures are an under-estimation. The research focused on ED presentations with an ‘injury’ related primary diagnosis on a Friday night, between 10pm and 11.59pm; early Saturday morning, from midnight to 3:59am, Saturday night; between 10pm and 11.59pm; early Sunday morning, from midnight to 3:59am; and Sunday night, between 6pm and 11:59pm.

The 4-page NAIP Bulletin 14 and all previous NAIP bulletins are available on the NDRI website.

Posted on: 1 Aug 2015

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