Booze sending 100 Brits a day to hospital

According to the British Liver Trust more than 100 men and women are admitted to hospital each day with alcohol related liver disease.

The charity says the number of admissions has tripled over the past ten years and they say the blame lies partly on the 24- hour drinking culture.

The charity maintains that 39,180 people were admitted to hospital with liver disease last year in England alone and is the latest evidence of the effects of binge-drinking.

Statistics last week revealed that 42 per cent of men and 38 per cent of women in Britain aged 16 to 24 consume more than the daily recommended amount of alcohol putting themselves at risk of developing liver disease in the next five to ten years.

The trust, says cheap and accessible booze along with an 'any time, anywhere, any place' mentality is costing the nation dearly and far too many are literally paying with their lives.

Every day four people an hour are being admitted to hospital due to alcoholic liver disease and the charity says the fact that alcohol-related admissions in England have doubled since 1995/6 should be a matter of great alarm and the equivalent in road traffic deaths would elicit a public outcry.

The British Liver Trust is calling on the Government and drinks manufacturers to do more to inform consumers about the health risks of excess drinking and say while a voluntary agreement with the drinks industry has been reached that warnings will be placed on bottles and cans, this was not going far enough.

The charity suggests the Government is possibly reluctant to take stronger action because of pressure from the Treasury, which collects large amounts of revenue from sales of alcohol and says it took decades of pressure to overcome the reluctance of ministers to warn people properly about the dangers of smoking, and people should not have to wait as long for the alcohol messages to get through.

The latest figures issued by the independent provider of official health and social care statistics, the Information Centre (The IC) also show some quite shocking trends; among children under 16 there were 5,280 NHS Hospital admissions in 2005/06 with either a primary or secondary diagnosis specifically related to alcohol.

In 2005, 6,570 people died from causes directly linked to alcohol consumption; of these just under two thirds (4,160) died from alcoholic liver disease and two thirds of those dying from alcoholic liver disease were men and older people were more likely to drink regularly while younger people were more likely to drink heavily.

Many people are unaware what the safe drinking recommendations are and 39 per cent of pregnant reported drinking on average less than 1 unit a week and 8 per cent drank 1 to 2 units.

The IC says alcohol is more affordable than ever and alcohol misuse costs the health service between £1.4 and £1.7 billion per year.

The IC is England's best independent source of health and social care information and works with more than 300 health and social care providers nationwide to provide the facts and figures that help the NHS and social services run effectively.

The IC collects data, analyses it and converts it into useful information used by academics and the latest bulletin presents a range of information on alcohol use and misuse which are drawn together from a variety of sources and aims to present a broad picture of health issues relating to alcohol in England.

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