Men account for three quarters of Australian alcohol-related deaths

Men account for the overwhelming majority of alcohol-related injury deaths in Australia, government data revealed.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on Tuesday published a report on alcohol-related injury deaths and hospitalizations in 2019-20.

The report revealed that there were 1,950 deaths involving alcohol in that period and more than 30,000 hospitalizations.

Of the deaths, 78 percent (over 1,500) were males as were 59 percent of hospitalizations.

Men aged 45-49 were the most likely to be hospitalized with an alcohol-related injury followed by women in the same age group and men aged 20-24.

Suicide was the most common cause of alcohol-related injury deaths among men and women, accounting for more than 40 percent of the total, followed by accidental poisoning.

Men were more likely to die from alcohol-related injuries incurred in transport.

Falls, intentional self-harm and assault were the most common causes for alcohol-related injury hospitalizations.

Heather Swanston, a spokesperson for the AIHW, said the figures contained in the report were likely underestimated due to the presence of alcohol usually being omitted from a patient's records.

"Most injury events are preventable, but the consumption of alcohol can increase the risk of injury," she said in a media release.

The rate of deaths from alcohol-related injuries more than doubled from 4.8 deaths per 100,000 in 2010-11 to 9.7 in 2019-20.

However, the rate fell 10 percent from 2018-19 due to COVID-19 lockdowns that came into effect early in 2020.

"There were 20 percent fewer alcohol-related injury hospitalizations during April 2020, a period affected by COVID-19 lockdowns, compared to the same month the previous year," Swanston said.

"However, as COVID-19 related restrictions eased, alcohol-related injury hospital admissions had returned to pre-pandemic levels by June 2020."