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 2020, there were nearly 3,100 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 2020 was 590 (569.1, 611.5) visits per 100,000 population, which was not significantly different from the Ontario rate of 576.8 (572.6, 580.9) visits per 100,000 population.

The rate of emergency visits entirely due to alcohol use dropped in 2020 by more than 10% in both Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario overall. This sudden drop can be attributed, at least in part, to changes in health care use and access during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unclear how changes in behaviours and activities due to pandemic restrictions may have also contributed to the drop in the rates.

Prior to 2020, the trend in alcohol attributable emergency visits for both Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario increased significantly from 2003 to 2019, with an average annual increase in the rates of approximately four per cent per year.

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By Sex

In 2020, the age-standardized alcohol attributable emergency visit rate among Simcoe Muskoka males was 754.2 (721.2, 788.4) visits per 100,000, which was significantly higher than the female rate of 426.9 (401.5, 453.4) visits per 100,000.

The alcohol attributable emergency visit rate among Simcoe Muskoka males did not change significantly in 2020 when compared with 2019; however, the rate among females declined significantly by 20%. It is unclear why the change in 2020 was different for males and females. Prior to 2020, the alcohol attributable emergency visit rates among both males and females in Simcoe Muskoka increased significantly from 2003 to 2019.

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By Age Group

The age-specific rate for alcohol attributable emergency visits between 2016 and 2020 (combined) in Simcoe Muskoka was highest among those 25 to 34 years of age at 949.5 (917.8, 982.0) 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 and the rates were not significantly different from the provincial average for those under 25 years of age.

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Between 2016 and 2020 in Simcoe Muskoka, young females between the ages of 15 and 19 years had significantly higher rates of alcohol attributable emergency visits when compared with males; however, males had significantly higher rates than females among adults 20 years of age and older. The relative difference between the rates also increased with age, with males 45 years and age and older having double the rate when compared with females.

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Younger adults between the ages of 20 and 39 years in Simcoe Muskoka had the largest increase in alcohol attributable emergency visits over the past two decades with rates nearly doubling among males and nearly tripling among females since 2003.

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By Income

For the period from 2016 to 2020 (combined), Simcoe Muskoka residents living in areas with the highest amount of material deprivation (as measured by the 2016 Ontario Marginalized Index) had triple the rate of alcohol attributable emergency visits when compared with those living in areas with the least amount of material deprivation.

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Page last updated July 25, 2022