Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access published November 21, 2012 – Alcohol and Alcoholism Vol. 0, No. 0, pp. 1–6, 2012 – doi: 10.1093/alcalc/ags123
Per-capita Alcohol Consumption and All-cause Male Mortality in Australia, 1911–2006 Michael Livingston1,2,* and Claire Wilkinson1,2
Alcohol is ranked in the top four risk factors in the global burden of disease (Rehm et al., 2006), and is estimated to be responsible for 3.3% of the total burden of disease in Australia (Begg et al., 2007). In spite of these considerable harms, the relationship between population-level alcohol consumption and health is a contentious one (Britton et al., 2003). Individual-level studies generally find a J-shaped rela- tionship between levels of alcohol consumption and overall mortality (Holman et al., 1996; Klatsky and Udaltsova, 2007), with moderate drinkers living longer than abstainers and heavy drinkers.
The lower mortality rates of moderate drinkers are largely driven by the reductions in heart-disease associated with moderate drinking (Ronksley et al., 2011), although the magnitude of these effects remain somewhat contested (Fillmore et al., 2006).