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Alcohol is one of the individual factors that have the most significant impact on public health in Denmark. Heavy drinking increases the risk of many diseases.

37% of Danish adults report regular heavy alcohol consumption, the highest in the EU. Almost 40% of Danish adolescents report having been drunk at least twice in their life.


According to estimates, over 30% of the overall disease burden in Denmark in 2015 could be attributed to behavioural risk factors, including smoking, alcohol use, diet and physical inactivity, with smoking and metabolic risks (e.g. obesity and high cholesterol) contributing the most (IHME, 2016).


A substantial gender gap exists in the proportion of adults reporting such heavy alcohol consumption, with the rate among Danish men reaching 47% compared with 28% among Danish women.


Source of the graph: OECD Country Health Profile 2017

Excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related deaths in Denmark are much higher than in most other EU countries. More than 1 200 people died from preventable alcohol-related diseases in Denmark in 2014, and this number does not include those who died from alcohol-related accidents or violence.


This information is based on WHO Cancer country profiles 2020. The aim of the WHO Cancer Country Profile is to synthesize the current status of cancer control for each WHO Member States (194 total) as well as by WHO Regions (6 total). These profiles establish an updated country baseline and support monitoring trends toward the achievement of global commitments including Sustainable Development Goal target 3.4 to reduce premature mortality, the Elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem and Global initiative for childhood cancer.


Profiles present the burden of cancer: including total number of cases and deaths, leading types of cancer, contribution of select risk factors measured by PAFs (population attributable fraction) and cancer as % of NCD premature deaths.


The contribution of a risk factor to a disease or a death is quantified using the population attributable fraction (PAF). PAF is the proportional reduction in population disease or mortality that would occur if exposure to a risk factor were reduced to an alternative ideal exposure scenario (eg. no tobacco use). The term “attributable” has a causal interpretation: PAF is the estimated fraction of all cases that would not have occurred if there had been no exposure.

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