by Medindia Content Team on  July 1, 2006 at 2:22 PM General Health News
Alcohol-Related Illnesses On The Rise
With the number of hospital admissions running at double the number of what they were 10 years ago, alcohol-related health problems have reached an all time high. Deaths due to alcoholic liver disease had risen by 39 per cent in the past five years, Government sources revealed.

Office for National Statistics figures compiled for the NHS, found that 35,400 people were in hospital with alcoholic liver disease last year, compared to 14,400 admissions in 1995. Excessive drinking proved fatal for more than 4,000 people last year.

Approximately 126,000 were hospitalized for mental health problems associated with excessive drinking, which is a 75 per cent increase in 10 years.

About 21,700 people were reported to have been admitted to hospitals with alcoholic poisoning.

Chief executive of the government-run Information Center Professor Denise Lievesley said: "This report shows that we cannot underestimate the effect of alcohol on health.

"By presenting this data we hope that health professionals will be better equipped to put their work in context and to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol misuse."

10.39 litres of pure alcohol is consumed by the average Briton in a year, with alcohol misuse starting early, the report warned.

The charity Alcohol Concern spokeswoman said: "The publication of this latest set of statistics on alcohol presents compelling evidence of the devastating impact of excess drinking on the nation's health".

"In 2004, the Government laid out a national strategy for tackling alcohol misuse. These statistics underline the need for a major push for the Government to meet the targets it set itself."

A spokesperson of the Department of Health said yesterday: "We know that alcohol misuse has a devastating effect on millions of lives each year and that is why we are working with the drinks industry, police and health professionals to increase awareness of the dangers of excessive drinking and make the sensible drinking message easier to understand".

"We will also be launching a joint campaign with the Home Office later this year to promote sensible drinking amongst young people." She added that the Government was spending more than 200m a year on tackling issues of the alcoholics.

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