Out of the 1553 Swiss lives lost due to alcohol, 1190 were men and 363 were women. Deaths caused by alcohol have been on the decline for men since the measurement first began in 1997. For women it remained stable till 2011 and then started to decline.
The percentage for alcohol attributable deaths in all deaths across all measurement years is 10% for men and 5.2% for women.
The breakdown of diseases and reasons that caused alcohol deaths looks like this:
- Most deaths caused by alcohol were due to cancer (36%);
- Digestive diseases and accidents and injuries both caused 21% of alcohol deaths each;
- Cardiovascular diseases and mental disorders both caused 10% of deaths each; and
- 2% of the alcohol deaths were attributed to other causes.
This indicator is based on estimates from the Gmel study (2020). Data for the estimates come from the Swiss Health Survey and Cause of Death Statistics as well as from other data sources. Further details on the subject can be found in the original literature.
Deaths of young adults are due mainly to injuries or accidents whereas older people are more likely to die from liver cirrhosis and later in life from cancer.
This data is used to plan for interventions to reduce alcohol harm in the country.
Alcohol harm and policies in Switzerland
Despite having a continued downward trend in overall alcohol use, binge alcohol use remains a problem in Switzerland, specifically for young people.
The WHO Europe Alcohol Country Fact Sheet for Switzerland illustrates the binge alcohol use problem in the country.
The fact sheet shows that both male and female binge alcohol use in Switzerland is higher than the European region average.
It shows that binge alcohol use is higher than the European average in both the 15 to 19 years and 20 to 24 years age groups. Furthermore, older youth between 20 to 24 years of age seem to engage in this behavior more: 29.3% females and 67.8% males in this age group binge on alcohol.
Improving alcohol policy solutions can help protect Swiss citizens, specifically young people, from alcohol harm.
For instance, a recent survey found that Swiss youth are exposed to alcohol promotions every five minutes in their day to day surroundings. Additionally, mystery shopping controls have found that one in five under-age youth can purchase alcohol without ID checks. Evidently alcohol policies regarding alcohol availability such as sales hour and outlet density restrictions and better alcohol marketing regulations are much needed.