Alcohol consumption (PI16 and PI17)

Indicators related to alcohol consumption in the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs) 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. A total score of 4 or more in males and 3 or more in females is considered positive. Generally the higher the score, the more likely it is that the person’s drinking is affecting their safety (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, harmful drinking may result in alcohol dependence and other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, cirrhosis of the liver, types of dementia, mental health problems and various cancers. Excessive drinking can impair judgment and coordination, and contributes to crime, violence, anti-social behaviours and accidents. Alcohol use during pregnancy is associated with severe adverse perinatal outcomes, such as foetal alcohol syndrome and alcohol-related birth defects and developmental disorders.

It is estimated that over one-third of the overall disease burden experienced by Indigenous Australians could be prevented by removing exposure to risk factors, such as alcohol use. Alcohol use was responsible for 8% of the total burden (AIHW 2016).

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 2019, 62% of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over had their alcohol consumption status recorded within the previous 24 months.

Alcohol consumption status recorded, by reporting period

This Tableau visualisation shows the percentage of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over who had their alcohol consumption status recorded in the last 2 years by reporting period (June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018 and June 2019).

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

Visualisation not available for printing

This was highest in:

  • Western Australia (82%)
  • Major cities (67%).

It was lowest in:

  • the Northern Territory (54%)
  • Very remote areas (52%).

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

Two Tableau 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).

Reporting periods of either June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018 or June 2019 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 Data.

Visualisation not available for printing

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 2019:

  • 51% of Indigenous regular clients aged 15 and over had an AUDIT-C result of low risk
  • 49% had a result of high risk.

Alcohol consumption status recorded, by reporting period

This Tableau visualisation 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) and reporting period (June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018 and June 2019).

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

Visualisation not available for printing

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

  • New South Wales/the Australian Capital Territory (combined, 52%)
  • Major cities (55%).

It was lowest in:

  • Victoria/Tasmania (combined, 48%)
  • Very remote areas (46%).

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

Two Tableau 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).

Reporting periods of either June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018 or June 2019 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 Data.

Visualisation not available for printing

References

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2016. Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2011. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 6. Cat. no. BOD 7. Canberra: AIHW.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) 2015. Smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity (SNAP): a population health guide to behavioural risk factors in general practice, 2nd edition. Melbourne: RACGP. Viewed 16 March 2020.