May 31, 2018 — The rate of alcohol-related hospitalizations and deaths is increasing faster for women than for men.

The rate of women who died from causes linked directly to alcohol has increased by 26% since 2001, compared with a roughly 5% increase over the same period for men. In addition, more than 25,000 women had alcohol-related hospitalizations in 2016–2017, representing a nearly 3% increase in the alcohol hospitalization rate for women over the previous year. By comparison, the increase for men was 0.6% over the same period.

This information is now featured in the Your Health System web tool produced by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The data also shows that

  • Girls age 10 to 19 had higher hospitalization rates than boys the same age, at 69 and 44 per 100,000, respectively.
  • The average number of Canadians hospitalized for conditions entirely caused by alcohol in 2016–2017 grew over the previous year, from 212 to 217 a day.
  • Of all avoidable deaths in Canada, the proportion from conditions 100% attributable to alcohol grew from 2.7% in 2001 to 3.8% in 2015.

“Alcohol is the direct cause of thousands of hospitalizations and deaths every year in Canada,” said Kathleen Morris, CIHI’s vice president of Research and Analysis. “It is troubling to see the rates for women increase so much faster than those for men.”

More facts about alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations

  • There were 3,079 deaths due to conditions entirely caused by alcohol in 2015 in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. More than half of these were due to alcoholic liver disease. By comparison, 2,066 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2015.
  • Almost 80,000 hospitalizations in Canada were due to conditions entirely caused by alcohol in 2016–2017, which is similar to the number of heart attack hospitalizations (77,000).
  • Conditions related to mental health and addictions accounted for nearly 3 out of 4 hospitalizations entirely caused by alcohol.

Today’s release of Your Health System] also includes updated results for 34 indicators on topics such as hospital deaths, readmissions, C-sections, medications prescribed to seniors and more. For more information on alcohol consumption and harm, you can consult CIHI’s 2017 report on alcohol harm .

About CIHI

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides essential information on Canada’s health systems and the health of Canadians.

We provide comparable and actionable data and information that are used to accelerate improvements in health care, health system performance and population health across Canada. Our stakeholders use our broad range of health system databases, measurements and standards, together with our evidence-based reports and analyses, in their decision-making processes. We protect the privacy of Canadians by ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the health care information we provide.

Media contact
Riley Denver