Report shows thousands hospitalized due to harmful consumption of alcohol
A new study shows there are more hospitalizations for alcohol consumption than for heart attacks and thousands of Canadians have been admitted for alcohol-related conditions over the last few years.
The Canadian Institute for Health released the report and says alcohol was linked to 77,000 hospitalizations in 2015, which is an average of about 210 a day.
Data collected from 2014 showed alcohol sales and rates of heavy drinking were highest in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
The study showed that Alberta has higher than average alcohol sales. According to the report, Alberta has the third highest density of alcohol retail outlets in the country and there are about 48 stores per 100,000 people in the province.
The study also indicated that Canadians living in rural and remote areas had higher rates for hospitalizations, almost double in some areas.
The author of the report says this data should make people reexamine attitudes towards alcohol consumption.
“About 80 percent of Canadians do drink and most Canadians do drink moderately but I think what this is showing is that it definitely is an issue in this country and we need to be paying attention to the numbers and monitoring them over time,” said Jean Harvey, from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
Researchers at CIHI found that overall, males age 20 and older had higher heavy drinking and hospitalization rates than females but girls had higher rates than boys in the 10 – 19 age group.
“It may be because teen girls are choosing alcohol that have a higher alcohol content than boys. For example, maybe drinking vodka instead of the boys drinking beer. It may be because of mental health issues with girls or just differences in physiology,” said Harvey
The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse has some guidelines for safe alcohol consumption.
10 drinks a week for women, with no more than an average of two drinks a day
15 drinks a week for men, with no more than an average of three drinks a day
The report also suggests that alcohol related hospital visits in Alberta can be reduced by regulating store hours and also limiting how many stores there are.
For more on the CIHI Alcohol Harm in Canada report, click HERE.