Health Impact and Economic Burden of Alcohol Consumption in India
The health and economic consequences of alcohol consumption have been assessed mainly in developed countries. This study aims to estimate health impact and economic burden attributable to alcohol use in India.
A combination of decision tree and mathematical markov model was parameterized to assess the health effects and economic cost attributable to alcohol consumption. Health effect of alcohol was modeled for a time period of 2011 to 2050 on three sets of conditions – liver disease, cancers and road traffic accidents. Estimates of illness, death, life years lost and quality adjusted life years (QALYs) gained were estimated as a result of alcohol consumption. Both direct and indirect costs were estimated to determine economic burden. Future costs and consequences were discounted at 3% for time preferences of cost and utility. Uncertainties in parameters were assessed using probabilistic sensitivity analysis.
Between 2011 and 2050, alcohol attributable deaths would lead to a loss of 258 million life years. In contrast, 552 million QALYs would be gained by eliminating alcohol consumption. Treatment of these conditions will impose an economic burden of INR 3127 billion (US$ 48.11 billion) on the health system. Societal burden of alcohol, inclusive of health system cost, out of pocket expenditure and productivity losses will be INR 121,364 billion (US$ 1867 billion). Even after adjusting for tax receipts from sale of alcohol, alcohol poses a net economic loss of INR 97,895 billion (US$ 1506 billion). This amounts to an average loss of 1.45% of the gross domestic product (GDP) per year to the Indian economy.
Alcohol causes significant negative health impact and economic burden on Indian society and evidence informed policy interventions are needed to control alcohol attributable harm.