Determination of Lifetime Injury Mortality Risk in Canada in 2002 by Drinking Amount per Occasion and Number of Occasions Academic Article uri icon


  • Injury is the leading cause of alcohol-attributable mortality in Canada. Risk is determined by amount consumed per occasion and accumulates across drinking episodes. The authors estimated alcohol-attributable injury mortality in Canada for 2002 by combining the absolute risk of injury unrelated to alcohol with relative risks that were specific to gender and consumption per occasion, while taking into account lifetime number of drinking occasions. The absolute risk increased as number of drinking occasions and number of drinks per occasion increased. The absolute risk remained relatively low at fewer than 2 drinking occasions per month, regardless of number of drinks. Absolute risk levels reached 1 in 1,000 at 5 or more drinks once per month for men and at 5-7 drinks once per month for women. The probability of mortality was 1 in 100 for all levels of consumption above 3 drinks 3 times per week for men and above 5 drinks 3 times per week for women. No safe level of consumption is recommended based on these results, although risk is much lower for consuming 3 standard drinks or less fewer than 3 times per week. Absolute risk reflects long-term effects of drinking patterns and is important for risk-communication and alcohol-control policy.


  • Taylor, B
  • Rehm, J
  • Room, R
  • Patra, J
  • Bondy, S

publication date

  • November 1, 2008