Alcohol consumption (PI16 and PI17)

Indicators related to alcohol consumption in the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPI) collection are:

  • the proportion of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over who had their alcohol consumption status recorded within the previous 24 months
  • the proportion of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over who had an AUDIT-C result recorded in the previous 24 months with a score of either:
    • high risk (greater than or equal to 4 in males and 3 in females)
    • low risk (less than 4 in males and 3 in females).

Why recording alcohol consumption and level is important

Alcohol consumption refers to the consumption of drinks containing ethanol, commonly referred to as alcohol. The quantity, frequency or regularity with which alcohol is drunk provides a measure of the level of alcohol consumption.

AUDIT-C is a screening tool used to help identify hazardous drinking or active alcohol use disorders. It is scored on a scale of 0–12. Generally the higher the score, the more likely it is that the person’s drinking is affecting their safety. A total score of 4 or more in males and 3 or more in females is considered to indicate an increased risk of hazardous or harmful drinking (RACGP 2015).

The harmful use of alcohol has both short-term and long-term health effects. Short-term effects are mainly related to potential injury suffered by the drinker and/or others who may be affected by the drinker’s behaviour. Over the longer term, excessive alcohol consumption is associated with a variety of adverse health and social consequences. It is a major risk factor for conditions, including liver disease, pancreatitis, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer. It is also linked to social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and other drug issues. Alcohol use during pregnancy is associated with severe adverse perinatal outcomes, such as foetal alcohol syndrome and alcohol-related birth defects and developmental disorders.

The proportion of Indigenous Australians aged 15 and over who did not drink alcohol in the last 12 months has increased in recent years, and they were also more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to have not drunk alcohol in the previous 12 months (AIHW 2020).

Alcohol consumption recorded (PI16)

This indicator is the proportion of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over who had their alcohol consumption status recorded within the previous 24 months.

It is collected for males and females in age groups:

  • 15–24
  • 25–34
  • 35–44
  • 45–54
  • 55–64
  • 65 and over.

At June 2021, 62% of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over had their alcohol consumption status recorded within the previous 24 months.

Recording of alcohol consumption was highest in:

  • Queensland and Western Australia (both 69%)
  • Major cities (72%)
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) (65%).
     

Alcohol consumption status recorded, by either state/territory, remoteness or organisation type, reporting period

Two data visualisations are presented here. The first shows the percentage of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over who had their alcohol consumption status recorded in the last 2 years for either:

  • state/territory (NSW/ACT, Vic, Qld, WA, SA, Tas, NT, Australia)
  • remoteness area (Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote, Australia)
  • organisation type (ACCHO, non-ACCHO, Total).

Reporting periods of either June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018, June 2019, December 2019, June 2020, December 2020, or June 2021 can be selected.

The second visualisation shows the selected information from the first visualisation by sex (male, female) and age group (15–24, 25–34, 35–44, 45–54, 55–64, 65+).

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Archived content.

AUDIT-C result (PI17)

This indicator is the proportion of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over who had an AUDIT-C result recorded in the previous 24 months with a score of:

  • high risk—4 or more in males and 3 or more in females
  • low risk—less than 4 in males and less than 3 in females.

It is collected for males and females in age groups:

  • 15–24
  • 25–34
  • 35–44
  • 45–54
  • 55–64
  • 65 and over.

At June 2021:

  • 55% of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over had an AUDIT-C result of low risk
  • 45% had a result of high risk.

Having a low risk AUDIT-C result was highest in:

  • Queensland (60%)
  • Major cities (62%)
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) (56%).
     

AUDIT-C result, by either state/territory, remoteness or organisation type, reporting period

Two data visualisations are presented here. The first shows the percentage of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over who had an AUDIT-C result recorded in the last 2 years by AUDIT-C result (low risk, high risk) in the last 2 years for either:

  • state/territory (NSW/ACT, Vic, Qld, WA, SA, Tas, NT, Australia)
  • remoteness area (Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote, Australia)
  • organisation type (ACCHO, non-ACCHO, Total).

Reporting periods of either June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018, June 2019, December 2019, June 2020, December 2020, or June 2021 can be selected.

The second visualisation shows the selected information from the first visualisation by sex (male, female) and age group (15–24, 25–34, 35–44, 45–54, 55–64, 65+).

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Archived content.

References

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2020) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework: risky alcohol consumption, Canberra: AIHW.

RACGP (The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) (2015) Smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity (SNAP): a population health guide to behavioural risk factors in general practice, 2nd edition, Melbourne: RACGP.