Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Alcohol Attributable Emergency Visits

By Sex
By Age Group
By Income

A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2019 showed a significant increasing trend in Ontario in the rates of emergency department visits attributable to alcohol use. This study used the Canadian Institute for Health Information indicator definition for Hospitalizations Entirely Caused by Alcohol and adapted it for emergency department visits. This was the same definition used for this HealthSTATS page; however, it should be noted that this will underestimate the total number of visits due to alcohol as conditions that are only partially attributable to alcohol use are excluded.

In 2018, there were over 3,250 emergency visits among residents of Simcoe Muskoka ten years of age and older that were attributable to alcohol use. The age-standardized rate for these alcohol attributable emergency visits in Simcoe Muskoka in 2018 was 647 (625, 670) visits per 100,000 population, which was significantly lower than the Ontario rate of 683 (679, 688) visits per 100,000 population.

The trend in alcohol attributable emergency visits for both Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario increased significantly from 2003 to 2018, with an average annual increase in the rates of approximately four per cent per year.


By Sex

In 2018, the age-standardized alcohol attributable emergency visit rate among Simcoe Muskoka males was 795 (761, 831) visits per 100,000, which was significantly higher than the female rate of 501 (473, 530) visits per 100,000. The alcohol attributable emergency visit rates for Ontario males was significantly higher than rate among Simcoe Muskoka males; however, the local and provincial rates among females were not significantly different from each other in 2017.

The alcohol attributable emergency visit rates among both males and females in Simcoe Muskoka increased significantly from 2003 to 2018; however, the rates increased significantly faster among females when compared with males over this time period.


By Age Group

The age-specific rate for alcohol attributable emergency visits between 2014 and 2018 (combined) in Simcoe Muskoka was highest among those 20 to 24 years of age at 903 (859, 949) visits per 100,000 population and this was significantly higher than the comparable provincial average for this age group. The Simcoe Muskoka age-specific alcohol attributable emergency visit rates were significantly lower than the provincial rates for adults 35 years of age and older.


Alcohol attributable emergency department visit rates in Simcoe Muskoka are the highest among adult males between the ages of 20 and 64 years and these rates have increase in recent years. While the rates for Simcoe Muskoka adult females are significantly lower than male rates, larger relative increases in the rates have been observed in nearly all age groups. The chart below depicts the rates by age group for Simcoe Muskoka males and females. The lighter colour bars represent the older reference time period (2003-2007) and the darker colour bars represent the most recent time period (2014-2018). The rates among children 10 to 14 years decreased from 2003-2007 to 2014-2018 for both sexes; however, this decline was more pronounced among females. No significant changes in rates were observed among teens 15 to 19 years for either sex. The rates among young adults rose substantially over this time period; however, the increase was much more pronounced among young adult females when compared with males.


Data source: Ambulatory Visits & Population Estimates [2003-2017], Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, IntelliHEALTH ONTARIO, Date Extracted: [July 22, 2019].Population. Hospitalizations entirely caused by alcohol [Internet]. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Institute for Health Information; 2018 [cited 2019 Mar 25]. Available from: 

By Income

For the time period from 2011 to 2016 (combined), Simcoe Muskoka residents living in areas with the highest prevalence of low-income had nearly four-times the rate of alcohol attributable emergency visits when compared with those living in areas with the lowest prevalence of low-income.