Rates by illness category

 

Hospitalizations

A graph of alcohol- and drug-related hospitalizations in BC

In 2015, tobacco was the most substantial contributor to the rate of cardiovascular, cancer, and pulmonary hospitalizations attributable to substance use in BC. It was also nearly tied with alcohol in the other medical event (e.g., low birth weight, SID syndrome) category.

Alcohol was the primary contributor to substance-attributable injuries and overdoses (e.g., poisonings, accidents, etc.), mental health event, and other medical event hospitalizations attributable to substance use. Alcohol was also a considerable contributor to the rate of cardiovascular and cancer hospitalizations attributable to substance use in BC in 2015.

Illicit drugs were a contributor to substance attributable injuries and overdoses as well as other medical event hospitalizations attributable to substance use in BC in 2015 (e.g., hepatitis C, hepatitis B, HIV). Illicit-drug-related hospital visits that fall under the mental health category have also increased in recent years, rising from 66 to 95 per 100,000 population.

Deaths

A chart of illicit-drug-related deaths in BC, by illness type

Tobacco was the primary contributor to cardiovascular, cancer, and pulmonary deaths attributable to substance use in BC in 2014.

Alcohol was also a contributor to cardiovascular and cancer deaths attributable to substance use in BC in 2014, as well as to mental health event, injuries and overdoses (e.g. poisonings, suicides, motor vehicle accidents, etc.) and other medical event (e.g. pancreatitis, cirrhosis, ulcers, etc.) deaths attributable to substance use.

Illicit drugs were a contributor to injury and overdose and other medical event deaths attributable to substance use in BC in 2014.

Hospitalizations

A chart of alcohol-related hospitalization in BC, by illness type

Injuries and overdoses estimated to have been caused by alcohol were the primary contributor to alcohol-attributable hospitalizations within health authorities in BC in 2015. Interior had the highest rate of injury/overdose events (363 per 100,000 residents), followed by Northern (356 per 100,000 residents), Island (298 per 100,000 residents), Vancouver Coastal (173 per 100,000 residents) and Fraser (163 per 100,000 residents) health authorities. Mental health events attributable to alcohol were the second highest contributor to alcohol attributable hospitalizations in BC in 2015 followed by cancer, cardiovascular and other medical events with the roughly the same rank order of rates among the different health authorities. 

Deaths

A chart of alcohol-related deaths in BC, by illness type

Injuries and overdoses attributable to alcohol were the primary contributor to alcohol related deaths among health authorities in BC in 2014. Interior had the highest rate of injury/overdose events (15.7 per 100,000 residents) followed closely by Northern (15.1 per 100,000 residents), Island (9.3 per 100,000 residents), Fraser (6.3 per 100,000 residents) and Vancouver Coastal (5.6 per 100,000 residents) health authorities. Cancer rates attributable to alcohol were the second highest contributor to cancer related deaths in BC in 2014 followed by other medical events, cardiovascular and mental health events with fairly comparable rates among the different health authorities. 

Hospitalizations

A chart of illicit-drug-related hospitalizations in BC, by illness type

Mental health events estimated to have been caused by illicit drugs were the primary contributor to illicit drug-attributable hospitalizations within health authorities in BC in 2015. Interior (94 per 100,000 residents) had the highest rate of mental health events attributable to illicit drugs followed by Vancouver Island and Fraser  (70 and 71 per 100,000 residents, respectively), Vancouver Coastal (69 per 100,000 residents), and Northern (61 per 100,000 residents) health authorities. 

Injury/overdose events attributable to illicit drugs were the second highest contributor to illicit drug-attributable hospitalizations within BC health authorities in 2015 with Interior, Northern and Island health authorities with the highest rates and Fraser and Vancouver Coastal with the lowest rates. Other medical events (e.g., pregnancy complications, neonatal conditions, Hep B and C and HIV) attributable to illicit drugs were the third highest contributor to illicit drug-attributable hospitalizations among health authorities in BC with fairly comparable variation across the different regions.

Deaths

A chart of illicit-drug-related deaths in BC, by illness type

Injury and overdose events attributable to illicit drugs were the primary contributor to deaths estimated to have been caused by illicit drugs within health authorities in BC in 2014. Northern (7.4 per 100,000 residents), Interior (7.0 per 100,000 residents) and Vancouver Island (6.7 per 100,000 residents) had the highest rate of injuries and overdoses estimated to have been cause by illicit drugs followed by Vancouver Coastal and Fraser (both at 6.2 per 100,000 residents) health authorities. Other medical events attributable to illicit drugs were the second highest contributor to illicit drug-attributable deaths within BC health authorities in 2014 with comparable rates across the different regions. There were very few mental health events attributable to illicit drug-attributable deaths in the health authorities in BC in 2014.

Hospitalizations

A chart of tobacco-related hospitalization in BC, by illness type

Cardiovascular conditions estimated to have been caused by tobacco were the primary contributor to tobacco-attributable hospitalizations within BC health authorities in 2015. Interior (258 per 100,000 residents) had the highest rate of cardiovascular conditions attributable to tobacco followed by Northern (234 per 100,000 residents),  Island (217 per 100,000 residents) Fraser (214 per 100,000 residents), and Vancouver Coastal (159 per 100,000 residents) health authorities. Pulmonary conditions attributable to tobacco were the second highest contributor to tobacco-attributable hospitalizations within BC health authorities, with instances in the Interior almost matching rates for cardiovascular conditions. Cancer estimated to have been caused by tobacco was the third highest contributor to hospitalizations estimated to have been caused by tobacco among health authorities in BC followed by other medical events (e.g., low birth weight, SID syndrome, ulcers) and injury and overdose events.

Deaths

A chart of tobacco-related deaths in BC, by illness type

Cancer estimated to have been caused by tobacco was the primary contributor to deaths estimated to have been cause by tobacco within BC health authorities in 2014. Interior (59 per 100,000 residents) had the highest rate of cancer attributable to tobacco followed by Island (58 per 100,000 residents), Northern (37 per 100,000 residents), Fraser (36 per 100,000 residents) and Vancouver Coastal (32 per 100,000 residents) health authorities. Pulmonary conditions estimated to have been caused by tobacco were the second highest contributor to tobacco-attributable deaths within BC health authorities in 2014. Cardiovascular conditions attributable to tobacco were the third highest contributor tobacco-attributable deaths in BC followed by other medical events and injury and overdose events.

  • These rates are age and sex standardized.
  • Rates of substance-attributable mortality in BC by categories of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) were generated using data from BC Vital Statistics.
  • Rates of hospitalizations in BC attributable to substance use by categories of ICD-10 codes were generated using data from the BC Ministry of Health.
  • Alcohol-attributed numbers do not include the following conditions: diabetes, ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, ischemic stroke, and haemorrhagic stroke (female only).
  • Moderate alcohol has a net protective effect on these conditions and it is not possible to separate the number of alcohol-attributed and prevented deaths and hospitalizations.
  • Estimates of mortality for the last 2 years may be underestimated due to delay in reporting.