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Baby boomers driving up hospital alcohol admission numbers as millennials turn their backs on drink

This article was taken from: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/05/alcohol-related-admissions-among-baby-boomers-soar-millennials/

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Alcohol-related hospital admissions have risen fifteen per cent in a decade amid warnings that drinking by ‘baby boomers’ is taking its toll.

The official statistics show that those aged 55 to 64 are now the most likely to be admitted to hospital because of alcohol-related diseases and injuries, followed by those aged 45 to 54 and those aged 65 to 74.

And the figures show the number of deaths linked to drinking has risen six per cent in just one year, with 5,800 such deaths in 2017.

It comes despite recent trends showing the nation turning its back on heavy drinking.

Between 2011 and 2017, the numbers drinking more than 14 units a week fell from 34 per cent to 28 per cent of men, and from 18 per cent to 14 per cent of women

And while drinking has fallen significantly among younger people, the figures show young girls are now far more likely than boys of the same age to get drunk.

In total, 11 per cent of girls aged 11 to 15 had been drunk in the last four weeks, compared with seven per cent of boys, statistics for 2016 show.

The statistics from NHS Digital show that in 2017/18, 338,000 people were admitted to hospital where the main cause was alcohol – an increase from 293,520 in 2007/8.

In total, 69 per cent of admissions involved people aged 45 and over.

And a total of 1.17 million hospital admissions  involved an alcohol-related condition which was either the main reason for admission, or one of the secondary diagnoses – a three per cent rise in one year.

This represents 7.2 per cent of all hospital admissions, the report found.

Prof Dame Parveen Kumar, British Medical Association board of science chairman said the figures were ”alarming,” urging ministers to introduce minimum prices for alcohol, mandatory labels and limits on alcohol advertising.

She said: “We need to see a strong and comprehensive new alcohol strategy that prioritises prevention and factors in the wider societal influences that may impact a person’s alcohol consumption.”

Susannah Brown, from the World Cancer Research Fund said: “While fewer people are drinking at harmful levels, the increase in alcohol-specific deaths shows that a culture shift is still needed for those who are.

“We call on the government to do more to encourage and empower people to cut down on the amount of alcohol they drink by creating environments that enable us to make healthier choices.”

John Timothy, chief executive of the Portman Group, the responsibility body for the alcohol industry, said: “These figures once again show us that the vast majority of people in England are drinking at or within very low risk levels.”