Drink-related deaths up 100% in UK

Drink-related deaths up 100% in UK since 1993

The rate of alcohol-related deaths in men which could have been prevented has doubled since 1993, figures released today show.

  • A report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also found the rate among women has gone up 67%.
  • The 2005 rates are for men and women under the age of 75.
  • In 1993, 1,776 men and 1,049 women died from alcohol-related disease which could have been prevented.
  • In 2005, the figure was 3,884 for men and 1,873 for women.
  • The rate went up from 7.3 men per 100,000 population in 1993 to 14.4 per 100,000 population in 2005.
  • In women, the rate went from 4 per 100,000 in 1993 to 6.7 per 100,000 in 2005.

Levin Wheller, who presented the data, said the figures were more likely to reflect long-term heavy drinking leading to problems like cirrhosis of the liver than short-term binge-drinking.

A spokesman for Alcohol Concern said: "These figures demonstrate that patterns of increased drinking are beginning to have serious public health implications.

"A recent World Health Organisation report identifies alcohol as the third highest risk to health in developed countries.

"It’s time for the Government to start investing more in early interventions to lessen the chance of the problem spiralling out of control."

The figures may come as a blow to the Government, which three years ago launched a key strategy for dealing with the problems of alcohol abuse.

The Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy proposed a number of measures to improve early identification and treatment of alcohol problems.

They included improved training to help NHS staff spot the signs of alcohol abuse early and a national audit of alcohol treatment services.

But Alcohol Concern believes the plan lacked muscle and wants the treatment issue to be properly addressed in the new strategy, currently in the process of being drafted.

Today’s statistics follow a string of other figures showing the ill-effects of alcohol on society.

Previous figures show that the number of alcohol-related conditions such as liver disease have doubled in less than a decade.

The number of people taken to Accident and Emergency departments for injuries related to drinking has also risen sharply.

As many as a third of people going into A&E have been estimated to have consumed alcohol immediately before, rising to more than two-thirds after midnight.

Teenage drinking is another area that has caused concern.

Figures revealed last year by the NHS showed the number of under-18s being admitted to hospital with alcohol-related conditions had risen from 6,288 in 2000/1 to 7,579 in 2004/5.

Another report showed the amount of alcohol consumed by girls aged between 11 and 13 had increased by 82.6% between 2000 and 2006.

A 43.4% rise in alcohol consumption in boys was also reported during the same period, the Alcohol Concern research study showed.

Release Date 24/05/2007; Source Press Association

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