Alcohol abuse a major killer

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Deaths as a result of alcohol abuse in Doncaster are increasing at a rate twice the national average, new figures today reveal.

The damning statistics emerged at a Health and Wellbeing Board meeting, where it was announced alcohol is one of the ‘major killers’ in the borough.

Latest figures for Doncaster show that 85 men, and 47 women, died a specifically alcohol-related death in the borough between 2008 to 2010.

The deaths came about from health problems ‘wholly related’ to alcohol, for example alcoholic liver disease.

The report discussed at the meeting stated: “Heart disease, strokes, cancer and alcohol are still the major killers.

“In fact the death rate from alcohol in Doncaster is twice the national average.”

The male mortality rate in Doncaster currently stands at 18.67 deaths per 100,000 people - compared to 13.16 per 100,000 in England.

The female mortality rate is 10.26 deaths per 100,000 population, compared with 6.04 per 100,000 in England.

The ongoing rate of increase is double that of the average nationally.

A Public Health England spokesman said: “Figures for both men and women in Doncaster are significantly higher than the England average.”

Health officials are now making the problem one of five key areas of focus as part of a new health and wellbeing strategy for Doncaster.

A report discussed at the meeting also revealed that A&E services in Doncaster are being inundated with alcohol-related admissions.

An average 251 people a month are seen in accident and emergency due to alcohol - a total of around 3,013 a year.

Figures for alcohol-attributable deaths - where alcohol was a contributory factor but not necessarily the direct cause of death - in Doncaster also remain higher than the national average.

Current statistics show the male death rate is 43.84 per 100,000 compared with 35.48 in England, and the female death rate 21.32 per 100,000 compared with 14.7 in England.

In Doncaster last year, an average of 71 people a month accessed alcohol treatment services.

Tony Baxter, director of Public Health, said: “Tackling alcohol-related health problems is one of five areas of focus in our new Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

“We are carrying out work to help people understand alcohol, its misuse and the importance of prevention.

“Through working closely with our partners and stakeholders, work is also being conducted on service provision, promotion and early identification, so we can help provide people with effective treatment and reduce the number of hospital admissions.”