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Alcohol-related mortality rates

According to current Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, there were 8,758 alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2015, 61 more than the previous year.


 

In 2015, people in their fifties and sixties suffered the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in the UK. Figure 6 shows that for both sexes, the rate was highest among those aged between 55 and 70 years of age.

 


 

According to Office for National Statistics figures, the number and the rate of alcohol-related deaths have almost doubled in the last 20 years, reaching a peak of 9,031 deaths (15.8 per 100,000 persons) in 2008 (figure 7).

 


 

It is important to note that in the case of England, Local Alcohol Profiles England (LAPE) estimated that based on the calculations used by researchers at the Liverpool John Moores University Centre for Public Health, there were roughly 23,500 deaths related to alcohol consumption in 2015 (rate 46 deaths per 100,000 population), of which nearly 18,000 were alcohol-specific (rate: 12 / 100,000, see below).

Source: Public Health England (February 2017), ‘Local Alcohol Profiles England’, dataset

 

The term “alcohol-related” is used in different contexts by the ONS and PHE. As mentioned in the previous chapter, the ONS data refers to alcohol-specific or wholly-attributable conditions (for example, alcoholic liver disease), as well as all cases of certain liver diseases even when alcohol is not specifically mentioned on the death certificate, whereas PHE refers to wholly-attributable and partially-attributable conditions (for example, hypertensive diseases, various cancers and falls).

Hence the discrepancy in figures between both organisations. In the ‘Alcohol-related deaths in the UK: registered in 2015’ release, the ONS announced plans to review the definition of alcohol-related deaths in order to:

… improve the consistency of outputs on deaths related to the abuse of alcohol produced by different government departments across the UK. We will be holding a consultation on this definition in the summer of 2017 with the view to using an improved definition in our next release.[1]


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[1] Office for National Statistics (February 2017), Chapter 4: Upcoming changes to this bulletin, in ‘Alcohol-related deaths in the UK: registered in 2015’ <http://bit.ly/2llPUtl>