Direct and Indirect Costs Attributable to Alcohol Consumption in Germany
Aim: To estimate the direct and indirect costs of morbidity and mortality attributable to alcohol consumption in Germany from a societal perspective in 2002. Methods: Using the concept of attributable risks and the prevalence-based approach, age- and gender-specific alcohol-attributable fractions for morbidity and mortality were calculated for alcoholic disorder, neoplasms, endocrinological, nervous, circulatory, digestive, skin and perinatal disorders, and injuries and poisonings. The literature provided data on alcohol consumption in Germany by age, gender and dose amount, and relative risks. Direct costs were calculated based on routine resource utilisation and expenditure statistics. Indirect costs were calculated based on the human capital approach using a discount rate of 5%. Results: Alcohol consumption accounted for 5.5% of all deaths and 970_000 years of potential life lost. Total costs were _24_398 million, amounting to 1.16% of Germany's GDP, or _296 per person. Direct medical and non-medical costs were _8441 million. Indirect costs were _15_957 million (69% mortality and 31% morbidity costs). In contrast, protective health effects of alcohol consumption saved _4839 million. Conclusions: The magnitude of alcohol-attributable morbidity and mortality and associated costs demands more preventive efforts.
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