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Alcohol-related harm in Estonia


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.

Alcohol-related deaths up in 2020

Estonian residents in 2020 consumed 10.5 l of absolute alcohol per adult (15+), 1.7 percent up from the year prior. There were 108 more deaths directly related to alcohol.

Alcohol consumption increased for the second consecutive year and has now reached the highest level of the past five years, the Ministry of Social Affairs ordered study shows. Preliminary data from the National Institute for Health Development (Tervise Arengu Instituut) shows that 615 people died of diseases directly caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, up by more than 100 from 2019, also the largest number over the last decade.


There is a sharp increase in the number of lives lost among people of working age - 410 people died between the ages of 45 and 64, the youngest of whom was a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman. The leading causes of death are alcoholic liver disease, followed by accidental poisoning, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and alcohol-related mental and behavioral disorders.

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