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More than a million alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2014-15

30 June 2016

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional figures are available

There were an estimated 1.09 million hospital admissions2 3 for which an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for admission or a secondary diagnosis, in 2014-15, compared to 1.06 million in 2013-14.

The figures, released today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre1, also show that men account for the majority of these admissions (65 per cent) compared to women (35 per cent).

There has been a rise in the number of drugs prescribed4 for the treatment of alcohol dependence. The number of prescription items dispensed in England in 2015 was 196,000which is nearly double the number ten years ago, when it was 109,000. The total Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) for items prescribed for alcohol dependence in 2015 was £3.93 million - more than double the level ten years ago when it was £1.52 million

In 2014, there were 6,830 deaths5 which were related to the consumption of alcohol - an increase of 4 per cent from 2013 and an increase of 13 per cent from 2004. Alcoholic liver disease accounted for nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of all alcohol-related deaths.

Statistics on Alcohol - England, 2016 uses a number of data sources, some previously published, to provide a detailed insight into patterns of use, behaviours and attitudes towards drinking alcohol among adults and children.

The report also includes regional data on hospital admissions and prescribing broken down by Local Authority areas. The statistics show that, in 2014-15, Salford had the highest estimated rate of hospital admissions where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for admission or a secondary diagnosis at 3,570 per 100,000 population. Wokingham had the lowest rate at 1,270 per 100,000 population.

Today's report also shows:

  • The estimated number of hospital admissions where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason6 or there was an alcohol-related external cause, was 333,000 in 2014-15. This is 32 per cent higher than 2004-05.
  • Based on the above measure, regional data show the Local Authority area with the highest number per 100,000 population was Blackpool with 1,220. Wokingham also had the lowest rate for this measure at 380
  • In 2014, 28.9 million people in Great Britain reported drinking alcohol in the previous week which equates to 58 per cent of the population. 2.5 million people drank more than 14 units on their heaviest drinking day7.
  • 38 per cent of secondary school pupils who were surveyed in 2014, had tried alcohol8- the lowest proportion since the survey began in 1982, when it was 62 per cent.

Responsible statistician, Paul Niblett, said: "These data provide an insight into the effect of alcohol on health services, and can offer a better understanding to the public, health professionals and policy makers of this on-going public health issue."

You can read the full report at http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/alcohol16

ENDS


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Estimates of the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions have been calculated by applying alcohol-attributable fractions (AAFs) based on a methodology developed by the North West Public Health Observatory (now part of Public Health England). This is the Broad measure - where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for a hospital admission or a secondary diagnosis. The broad measure is a better indicator of the total burden that alcohol has on health because it uses both primary and secondary diagnoses.

3. Figures over 1 million have been rounded to the nearest 10,000 and those over 100,000 have been rounded to the nearest 1,000. Figures under 100,000 have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

4. Prescribing datacombine GP prescriptions data, taken from Prescribing Analysis and Cost Tool (PACT), and hospital prescriptions data, taken from Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system. Prescribing definitions are as follows:

Prescription Item: Prescribers write prescriptions on a prescription form. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.

Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income.

5. Mortality data are sourced from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which uses the national statistics definition of alcohol-related deaths which only includes conditions which are wholly attributable to alcohol.

6. Estimates of the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions have been calculated by applying alcohol-attributable fractions (AAFs) based on a methodology developed by the North West Public Health Observatory (now part of Public Health England). This is the narrow measure- where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for a hospital admission or there was an alcohol-related external cause. The narrow measure is a better indicator of changes over time because it is less affected by improvements in recording of secondary diagnoses.

7. The main source of data for drinking behaviours among adults is the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN): Drinking Habits Amongst Adults carried out by the Office for National Statistics. This is an annual survey covering adults aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain.

8. Information is provided from Smoking, Drinking and Drug use among Young People in England (SDD) which surveys pupils in secondary schools across England to provide national estimates and information on the smoking, drinking and drug use behaviours of young people aged 11 - 15.

9. For media enquiries please contact media@hscic.gov.uk or 0300 303 3888.

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