Open consultation: Proposed changes for calculating alcohol-related mortality

Public Health England

March 1
12:13 2021

This is a consultation to gather views on our proposed changes to the methods used to calculate and update attributable fractions for alcohol-related mortality and hospital admissions.

Alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for many chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease and stroke. In 2018 there were approximately 24,720 alcohol-related deaths, and during 2018 and 2019 approximately 357,660 hospital admissions in England. This represented 2.1% of total hospital admissions, 62% of which were males and over half (57%) were aged between 45 and 74 years old.

Public Health England (PHE) has recently updated the estimated risks for developing diseases associated with drinking alcohol compared to those who do not drink (relative risk) currently used to produce the Alcohol Attributable Fractions (AAFs) for indicators in Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE). PHE published Alcohol-attributable fractions for England: an update, this identified the most recent and robust evidence on the relative risks of disease associated with alcohol consumption, and the proportion of disease cases that can be attributed to alcohol. It updates the AAF estimates that were last published in 2013.

PHE proposes using these updated AAFs for its next publication of alcohol-related mortality and admissions. The intention would be to include a historical series of data over a number of years.

This consultation therefore presents analysis showing the impact of changing to the updated AAFs on the rates of alcohol-related mortality and hospital admissions as currently published.

We advise that you read the consultation document in full, consider the questions below and email your response to the questions to

The questions to consider are:

  1. Do you agree with the proposal to update the AAFs in this way?
  2. The change will improve the accuracy of published statistics but will result in a break in the data series at the date the correction is implemented. Is this an acceptable scenario for you?
  3. Is the proposed date of introduction (2016) to align with the alcohol consumption prevalence data used appropriate?
  4. Do you think your stakeholders and partners will readily understand and accept that the reduction is a result of a change in methodology and not necessarily a real reduction in the harm alcohol causes to individuals?
  5. Based on the latest evidence, the new AAFs changed the upshift (the extent to which people in surveys may underestimate their drinking) down to 40% from the 59% used previously. Is this your preferred approach?
  6. Do you have any other comments or points that you would like us to consider?

This is a public consultation and anyone is welcome to contribute.


Consultation on proposed changes to the calculation of alcohol-related mortality and hospital admissions

Ways to respond

Email to:

Write to:

Clare Griffiths
Public Health England
7th Floor, Wellington House
Waterloo Road
London SE1 8UG

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