PHE data reveals increases in alcohol-specific deaths in England

DATE PUBLISHED

2nd February 2021

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PHE data reveals increases in alcohol-specific deaths in England and rate of hospital admissions for conditions solely caused by alcohol consumption. ONS data reveals an increase in provisional data on alcohol-specific deaths registered in the first three quarters of 2020 (Jan to Sept) in England and Wales, with the alcohol-specific death rate reaching its highest peak since the time series began in 2001.

Drinkaware Chief Executive, Elaine Hindal, said: “The figures released today demonstrate the devastating impact that alcohol can have on people’s health.

“Our own research has shown that the pandemic has had a direct impact on people’s drinking patterns – leading to many people in the country to drink more than they would usually – so our concern is these numbers could continue to increase unless we take action now.”

Research conducted in December by Drinkaware found almost a third (31%) of drinkers in the UK are drinking at increasing or high risk levels – meaning they drink more than the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) recommended guidelines of 14 units a week. This means that literally millions of UK drinkers are at risk of damaging their health in the long-term unless they cut down.

More than half (56%) of people who already drink at higher risk levels (more than 35 units a week for women and more than 50 for men) reported drinking more than they would usually. And 39% of those who drink at increasing risk levels (between 14 and 35 units a week for women, 14 and 50 for men) report drinking more.

Elaine continues: “It is crucial that the impact of increased alcohol consumption, particularly in those people who already drink heavily, is recognised as a public health priority to prevent avoidable health problems.

“Drinkaware’s mission is to help people make better choices about their drinking and arm them with advice and facts against harmful drinking. We will continue to invest in campaigns, research and tools that specifically target harmful drinkers to help them cut down in order to help reduce alcohol harm.”

Drinkaware recommends all drinkers stick to the CMO’s low risk drinking guidelines of no more than 14 units a week, making sure at least three of those days are drink-free, to keep their risk of alcohol harm low. Drinkaware has an online self-assessment that can help identify whether someone should be concerned about how much they drink.