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Lithuania: 2023 statistics on alcohol consumption and consequences presented

Alcohol per capita consumption

30.05.2024 - On May 30, the State Data Agency presented the 2023 statistics on alcohol and tobacco consumption and its consequences. The indicators were presented by Dr. Inga Masiulaitytė-Šukevič, Deputy Director General of the State Data Agency, with comments from Žilvinė Našlėnė, Head of the Biostatistical Analysis Department at the Health Information Center of the Hygiene Institute, and Ignas Rubikas, Head of the Mental Health Department at the Ministry of Health.

According to the State Data Agency, alcohol consumption in 2023 decreased by 0.2 liters compared to 2022. In 2023, the absolute (100%) alcohol consumption per capita for those aged 15 and older was 11 liters.

Retail sales of spirits, fermented beverages, and wine decreased (by 0.8% and 4.2% respectively), with beer sales dropping by 6%. Retail prices for alcoholic beverages increased by 10.6% in 2023. The most significant price increases were seen in domestically produced beer (14.7%), imported beer (13.7%), vermouth (13.2%), fruit wine (10.6%), sparkling grape wine (10%), domestically produced vodka (9.7%), and liqueurs (6.8%). The rise in alcoholic beverage prices was driven by the higher excise duty rate applied from January 1, 2023.

Wine imports and exports increased by 0.7% and 5.4% respectively in 2023, while beer imports and exports both decreased by 0.7%. Imports of spirits grew by 20.1%, with exports up by 35.1%. Fermented beverage imports fell by 15.9%, and exports decreased by 22.6%.

According to the Hygiene Institute, in 2023, 27,000 individuals were diagnosed with at least one condition directly related to alcohol consumption, an increase of 2,000 compared to 2022. There were 944 individuals with such diagnoses per 100,000 population (885 in 2022). The most commonly registered diagnoses were alcohol dependence (688.1 cases per 100,000 population), toxic effects of alcohol (150.9 cases), alcoholic liver disease (125.2 cases), and alcoholic psychosis (82.3 cases).

Data from the Hygiene Institute also show that 625 people died from diseases directly related to alcohol consumption in 2023, 21 fewer than in 2022. The most common diseases directly caused by alcohol consumption were alcoholic liver disease (48.6%), accidental alcohol poisoning (25.4%), and alcoholic cardiomyopathy (9.4%).

Preliminary data indicate that male mortality due to diseases directly related to alcohol consumption was 2.3 times higher than female mortality in 2023. There were 20 deaths per 100,000 urban residents from these diseases in 2023 (21.3 in 2022), and 25.5 per 100,000 rural residents (26 in 2022).

Žilvinė Našlėnė noted that although alcohol consumption is decreasing, morbidity rates are not. "As mentioned, in 2023, 2,000 more individuals were diagnosed with at least one alcohol-related disease compared to 2022. In terms of trends, the rate of alcohol dependence increased by nearly 8%. The statistics show a significant difference in morbidity between men and rural residents. The absolute number of alcohol dependence cases also increased from 18,000 to nearly 20,000 individuals," said the specialist.

Ignas Rubikas highlighted the use of electronic cigarettes among adolescents. "According to the international HBSC study conducted in Lithuania, we are among the top countries for electronic cigarette use among 5th-9th grade students. This is a worrying trend," said Rubikas. Changes in smoking habits among smokers were also discussed. The World Health Organization's 2021 scientific report showed that the chronic disease burden for smokers who switched to smoke-free products does not decrease, and there is no evidence that new tobacco products help people quit smoking. "We know that dual use of traditional and new products is often widespread," the specialist shared.

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