Northwest Territories reaches 6 times national rate for alcohol caused hospitalization

The Northwest Territories had the highest rate of alcohol caused hospitalization in Canada in 2016-2017, six times the national average.

The N.W.T. had 548 alcohol caused hospitalizations in 2016-2017, giving double the rate found in the Yukon

The Stanton Territorial Hospital under construction on Dec. 3, 2017, as seen from across Frame Lake. The Northwest Territories had the highest rate of alcohol-related hospitalizations in Canada in 2016-2017, 6 times the national average and double the Yukon rate. (Walter Strong/CBC)

The Northwest Territories had the highest rate of alcohol caused hospitalization in Canada between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017 — six times the national average.

This is reported by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) which found a national rate of 242 hospitalizations caused completely by alcohol per 100,000 people, or almost 80,000 counted hospitalizations.

That is compared to a rate of 1,462 hospitalizations for the same cause per 100,000 people in the Northwest Territories, or 548 hospitalizations.

This is up from 2015 when the territory was at five times the national rate: 1,315 hospitalizations caused completely by alcohol per 100,000 people (475 counted hospitalizations).

That year, the Northwest Territories had double the rate of hospitalization caused by alcohol reported in the Yukon, a statistic that remained constant this year.

The new report, released today, found that in Yukon there were 704 hospitalizations caused entirely by alcohol per 100,000 in 2016, or 245 counted hospitalizations.

Nunavut was not included in this year's report, because data was incomplete. But last year the territory had a rate of 421 alcohol-related hospitalizations per 100,000 people, or 119 counted hospitalizations.

Women catching up with men

CIHI found the national rate of alcohol-related hospitalization is increasing for women faster than for men.

The Northwest Territories has been following that trend. Women in the territory had a 25 per cent increase in alcohol-related hospitalizations since the 2015 count, while men had a 9 per cent increase.

The Yukon also followed the trend, with the rate of hospitalization for women increasing by almost 12 per cent, and the rate for men increasing by almost 0.7 per cent.

The study also found that in the Northwest Territories there were more than double the number of youth aged 10-19 that were hospitalized for alcohol than men. In 2016, there were 22 female youth hospitalized due to alcohol, while 9 male youth were hospitalized.

In the Yukon, there were 10 female youth hospitalizations, and one male youth.