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Alcohol poisoning hospital admissions double

Alcohol poisoning hospital admissions double


Source: the drinks business

by Rupert Millar

22nd December, 2015


The number of people in the UK admitted to hospital for alcohol poisoning has doubled in the last six years according to new figures.


Teenage-Binge Statistics from the health charity, the Nuffield Trust, claim that, “[hospital] attendance rates likely to be due to alcohol poisoning” rose from 72.7 per 100,000 people in 2008/09 to 148.8 per 100,000 in 2013/14 – a 104.6% increase. Rates were apparently highest among young women aged 15-19.


The trust also noted a 143.% rise in elective admissions from 2005/06 to 2013/14 and a 53.9% increase in emergency admissions “specific to alcohol”.


The highest rates of alcohol-related emergency admissions was in men in older age groups. In 2013/14 the highest admission rate was for men aged 45-64 (at 1,126 per 100,000 people), which the trust said: “may reflect the chronicity of alcohol-related diagnoses and the contribution of alcohol to many long-term conditions that are more prevalent in older age groups.”


Admittance to hospital due to alcohol-related illnesses was also three to four times higher in the poorest fifth of the population, with urban areas and the north of the country experiencing


The report was particularly concerned with highlighting the strain alcohol-related admissions places on the NHS.


According to the report, three in four people with alcohol poisoning or other alcohol-related issue arrive at A&E by ambulance. Of these, one in three is admitted to hospital overnight compared to just one in five who are admitted to A&E for non-alcohol related issues.


“This places potentially avoidable strain on ambulance trusts, A&E and hospital services,” said the report.


It called for increased numbers of specialist services and for government measures such as, “population-based approaches to reducing alcohol-related harms, through increased taxation, minimum unit pricing, restricting availability and limiting marketing and advertising.”


In 2013/14 one in 20 emergency admissions in England were due to alcohol while the number of such admissions in Scotland has been declining in recent years and stabilised in Wales.


It has also been noted by agencies such as the Office for National Statistics that binge drinking among adults is falling and that a fifth of UK adults say they do not drink at all.


The full report can be read here.