Alcohol use is related to a wide variety of negative health outcomes including morbidity, mortality, and disability. Research on alcohol-related morbidity and mortality takes into account the varying effects of overall alcohol consumption and drinking patterns. The results from this epidemiological research indicate that alcohol use increases the risk for many chronic health consequences (e.g., diseases) and acute consequences (e.g., traffic crashes), but a certain pattern of regular light-to-moderate drinking may have beneficial effects on coronary heart disease. Several issues are relevant to the methodology of studies of alcohol-related morbidity and mortality, including the measurement of both alcohol consumption and the outcomes studied as well as study design. Broad summary measures that reflect alcohol's possible effects on morbidity, mortality, and disability may be more useful than measures of any one outcome alone.