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alcohol health alliance uk

Rise in alcohol-related hospital admissions for over 50s in NE

Half of all alcohol-related hospital admissions in the NE are for people over 50

Half of all alcohol-related hospital admissions in the NE are for people over 50

Posted 23/08/17

Around half (51%) of all alcohol-related hospital admissions in the North East are for people over 50, according to an analysis carried out by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office.

It comes as a report released today by the British Medical Journal found a strong upward national trend of heavy drinking among the over 50s.

The worrying report reflects the picture in the North East, where, despite falls in the rates of younger people admitted to hospital for wholly attributable alcohol-related conditions, admissions for people over the age of 50 have risen from around a third (35%) of the total in 2006/07 to more than half (51%) in a decade.

While North East alcohol-related admissions rates haven’t risen as fast as the England average, the North East still suffers from rates that are significantly higher than the England average.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, commented on the findings: “It’s worrying to see a rising trend in alcohol-related hospital admission rates among older people. While we often see younger people pointed at as having problems with alcohol, we’re now seeing serious consequences for an older generation who have easy access to increasingly affordable alcohol. Alcohol is 60% more affordable than it was in 1980.

“Alcohol is linked to a wide range of serious medical conditions, including cancer, heart disease and stroke and drinking above the recommended low risk guidelines of 14 units a week for both men and women puts us at greater risk of developing an alcohol-related condition.

“At a time when the NHS is already facing huge pressures, alcohol is placing an unnecessary and unsustainable burden on time and resources. We need to bring alcohol harms under control by making alcohol less affordable, available and widely promoted.

“We urgently need the Government to take action by introducing targeted, evidence-based measures including the introduction of a minimum unit price which would increase the price of the cheapest, strongest alcohol products. A minimum unit price would help tackle the problems at source, helping to reduce hospital admissions, cut crime and ease some of the financial burden alcohol places on our emergency services.”