Print version ISSN 0213-9111
BELLO, L.M.; SAAVEDRA, P. and SERRA, L.. Trends in mortality and years of life lost related to alcohol in the Canary Islands, Spain (1980-1998). Gac Sanit [online]. 2003, vol.17, n.6, pp. 466-473. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112003000600007.
Objective: The aim of this article was to describe death rates and years of life lost prematurely (YLLP) in relation to alcohol consumption in the Canary Islands. The study covered the period between 1980 and 1998. Methods: Deaths from 1980 to 1998 were classified by age, sex, and cause using data obtained from the National Institute of Statistics (Natural Changes in the Population). The number of alcohol-related deaths was calculated by year, sex, and age group using the attributable population fraction as proposed by the Centers for Disease Control (USA). The YLLP attributed to alcohol consumption were calculated for each cause of death by multiplying deaths by the attributable population fraction in 5-yearly age groups for both sexes (average span of five years), up to the age of 65 years. Results: Between 1980 and 1998, the number of alcohol-related deaths was 12,614, averaging 6.4% per year and with a male-to-female ratio of approximately 2:1. The main causes of death and YLLP in both men and women were malignant neoplasms, diseases of the digestive system, and alcohol-related accidents, although accidents were by far the main cause producing 50.6% of alcohol-related YLLP in men and 55.5% in women. Over the study period, the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver and that of other chronic liver diseases (CIE 571) decreased in men whilst remaining stable in women. Conclusions: The finding that the percentage of alcohol-related deaths and cirrhosis of the liver remained high in the Islas Canarias between 1980 and 1998 highlights the need for educational strategies on the effects of alcohol, together with policies designed to reduce its consumption, particularly among the young.
Keywords : Death Rate; Premature Death; Alcohol.