Objectives (1) A comprehensive mortality assessment of alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) and (2) examination of under-reporting using vital statistics data.
Methods A modelling study estimated sex-specific mortality rates for each country, which were subsequently aggregated by region and globally. Input data on ACM mortality were obtained from death registries for n=91 countries. For n=99 countries, mortality estimates were predicted using aggregate alcohol data from WHO publications. Descriptive additional analyses illustrated the scope of under-reporting.
Results In 2015, there were an estimated 25 997 (95% CI 17 385 to 49 096) global deaths from ACM. This translates into 6.3% (95% CI 4.2% to 11.9%) of all global deaths from cardiomyopathy being caused by alcohol. There were large regional variations with regard to mortality burden. While the majority of ACM deaths were found in Russia (19 749 deaths, 76.0% of all ACM deaths), for about one-third of countries (n=57) less than one ACM death was found. Under-reporting was identified for nearly every second country with civil registration data. Overall, two out of three global ACM deaths might be misclassified.
Conclusions The variation of ACM mortality burden is greater than for other alcohol-attributable diseases, and partly may be the result of stigma and lack of detection. Misclassification of ACM fatalities is a systematic phenomenon, which may be caused by low resources, lacking standards and stigma associated with alcohol-use disorders. Clinical management may be improved by including routine alcohol assessments. This could contribute to decrease misclassifications and to provide the best available treatment for affected patients.
- cardiac risk factors and prevention
- idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy
- global disease patterns
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Contributors JM had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and accuracy of the data analysis. Study concept and design: JM and JR. Analysis and interpretation of data: JM. Drafting of the manuscript: JM. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: JM, CP, MR and JR. Statistical analysis: JM. Study supervision: JR.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement All data used in this study are publicly available.
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