Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Australia: Alcohol kills indigenous person every 38 hours

ALCOHOL kills one indigenous Australian every 38 hours, landmark research has found.

The average age of those dying from alcohol-attributable causes - mostly suicide for men, or alcoholic liver cirrhosis for women - is about 35 years.

National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) Indigenous Australian Research team leader Dennis Gray said these were conservative estimates from a first-of-its-kind study of the problem which showed alcohol killed 1145 indigenous Australians between 2000 and 2004.

"If we are serious about addressing this disparity and reducing death rates among indigenous Australians, we need to focus on the underlying social causes of that ill health," Professor Gray said. "For instance, suicide is the most frequent alcohol-caused death among indigenous men, which reflects the despair that many indigenous people feel."

Senior Research Fellow Tanya Chikritzhs said she was shocked to discover indigenous women as young as 25 years were dying of haemorrhagic stroke due to heavy drinking. Source.

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