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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


INDAVE, B. Iciar et al. Research methods on alcohol-related harm in the population. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2014, vol.88, n.4, pp.447-468. ISSN 2173-9110.

The aim of this paper is to describe the available methods to quantify the main health and social harms related to alcohol consumption in the population and to provide recommendations to improve research on these issues. Methods using individual and aggregate level data for the study of the relationship between alcohol consumption and related harms are taken into account, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Methodological aspects to quantify the magnitude and trends of alcohol-related and alcohol-attributable mortality, including alcohol dependence, acute intoxication, injury, violent behavior, disease burden and social costs are widely considered. There are often discrepancies between the study results mainly due to the difficulty of adequately measuring alcohol consumption and its relationship to health conditions. In the future we must strengthen research on the effect of drinking patterns and context in chronic diseases using appropriate controls, clarify the relationship of alcohol use disorders and other mental disorders , improve the measurement of alcohol intoxication when acute problems occurs, periodically quantify the disease burden and social costs attributable to alcohol (using country- specific attributable fractions) and develop valid and comparable methods and indicators for monitoring alcohol-related harm.

Keywords : Alcoholic beverages; Alcohol-related disorders; Injuries; Social problems; Premature mortality; Burden of disease; Cost of illness; Research methods.

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