Alcohol is a major risk factor for men’s health.
ALCOHOL AND MEN’S HEALTH
Males have consistently had higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalisations
than females have. It is estimated, for example, that in Australia, males accounted for
approximately 70% of:
the 3290 alcohol-related deaths in 1997;
the 72,302 alcohol-related hospitalisations in 1996/97; and
the 403,795 alcohol-related hospital bed-days in 1996/97.
Research shows that for men:
• Drinking up to an average of between 3-4 standards drinks per day holds no more
risk of premature death than non-drinking.
• Drinking above 6 standard drinks per day is associated with significant risk of
harm in the short term.
• The greater the amount of alcohol consumed, the higher the risk.
• Maximum health benefits for the heart can be gained from between 1-2 standard
drinks a day, for men aged 40-45 years and older.
• It has been calculated that about 4% of male deaths are alcohol-related, with the
main causes of such deaths being alcoholic liver cirrhosis, road injury, stroke,
suicide and alcohol dependence.
• Other health concerns include alcohol-related violence, with alcohol-related
assaults being one of the main causes of male hospitalisation.
The main acute and chronic alcohol-related conditions in Australian males
Information from records of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalisations can be divided into:
• Chronic conditions (conditions associated with long-term alcohol misuse) accounted for:
o 60% of the 2,296, alcohol-related, male deaths in 1997, with the main causes being
alcoholic liver cirrhosis, stroke and alcohol dependence;
o 35% of the 49,499 alcohol-related, male hospitalisations in 1996/97, especially for
• Acute conditions (that is, conditions associated with intoxication) accounted for:
o 40% of the 2,296 alcohol-related, male deaths in 1997, especially road injuries and