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BMC Med. 2019 Mar 19;17(1):59. doi: 10.1186/s12916-019-1290-0.

Quantifying harms to others due to alcohol consumption in Germany: a register-based study.

Kraus L1,2,3, Seitz NN4, Shield KD5,6, Gmel G5, Rehm J5,7,6,8,9,10.

Author information

1
IFT Institut für Therapieforschung, Leopoldstraße 175, 80804, Munich, Germany. kraus@ift.de.
2
Department for Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University, Sveavägen 160, Sveaplan, 10691, Stockholm, Sweden. kraus@ift.de.
3
Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Kazinczy utca 23-27, 1075, Budapest, Hungary. kraus@ift.de.
4
IFT Institut für Therapieforschung, Leopoldstraße 175, 80804, Munich, Germany.
5
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, 33 Russell Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 2S1, Canada.
6
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 155 College Street, 6th floor, Toronto, ON, M5T 3M7, Canada.
7
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, 33 Russell Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 2S1, Canada.
8
Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Medical Sciences Building, 1 King's College Circle, Room 2374, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8, Canada.
9
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, 250 College Street, 8th floor, Toronto, ON, M5T 1R8, Canada.
10
Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Center of Clinical Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies (CELOS), Technische Universität Dresden, Chemnitzer Str. 46, 01187, Dresden, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The consumption of alcohol increases the risk of drinkers harming others. The extent of alcohol's morbidity and mortality harms to others in Germany in 2014 was estimated for (1) fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) among newborns, (2) road traffic fatalities, and (3) interpersonal violence-related deaths.

METHODS:

The incidences of FAS and FASD were estimated by means of a meta-analytical approach, combining data on alcohol use during pregnancy and the risk relationship between alcohol consumption during pregnancy and FAS/FASD. In order to estimate alcohol-attributable road traffic fatalities and interpersonal violence due to the drinking of others, an attributable fraction methodology was applied to cause-of-death statistics for road traffic and interpersonal violence-related deaths.

RESULTS:

For 2014, the incidences of FAS and FASD were estimated at 41 children per 10,000 live births (95% CI 24; 63) and 177 children per 10,000 live births (95% CI 135; 320), or 2930 (95% CI 1720; 4500) and 12,650 (95% CI 9650; 23,310) children, respectively. Furthermore, alcohol was estimated to be responsible for 1214 (95% CI 1141; 1287) third-party road traffic fatalities and 55 (95% CI 46; 64) deaths from interpersonal violence, representing 45.1% of all third-party road traffic fatalities and 14.9% of all interpersonal violence deaths.

CONCLUSION:

These study's estimates indicate there is a substantial degree of health harm to third parties caused by alcohol in Germany. While more research on harms to others caused by alcohol is needed to provide comprehensive estimates, the results indicate a need for effective prevention.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD); Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS); Harm to others; Interpersonal violence; Road traffic fatalities

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