Statistics on Alcohol – England, 2013

The Health and Social Care Information Centre have published their annual report on alcohol statistics as they relate to England.

Here are some of the key messages I saw in quickly skimming through the report.

Affordability

  • Using the most recently available data, alcohol in 2012 was 61% more affordable than it was in 1980.

Young People (11-15 years)

  • 45% of pupils said that they had drunk alcohol at least once. This was at the same level as in 2010, but down from 2001 when 61% said they had drunk alcohol.
  • In 2011, 7% of pupils said they usually drank at least once a week, compared with 20% in 2001.
  • Pupils aged 11 to 15 who drank in the last week drank a mean amount of 10.4 units and a median amount of 7.0 units.
  • As in previous years, pupils in London were much less likely to have ever drunk alcohol than pupils in other regions. Less than a third (30%) of pupils in London had ever drunk alcohol. Elsewhere the proportion of pupils who had ever drunk alcohol varied from 39% in the West Midlands to 51% in the North East. There was a similar regional pattern for the proportion of pupils who had drunk alcohol in the last week, which varied from 8% in London to 17% in the North East.

Young adults

  • Those in the youngest and oldest age groups (16 to 24 and 65 and over) were less likely than those in the other age groups (25 to 44 and 45 to 64) to report drinking during the previous week.
  • 67% of men and 68% of women aged 16-24 drank above the recommended level, and 45% and 46% respectively drank more than twice the recommended amount.

Hospital admissions

  • In 2011/12, there were an estimated 1,220,300 admissions related to alcohol consumption where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for hospital admission or a secondary diagnosis. This is an increase of 4% on the 2010/11 figure (1,168,300) and more than twice as many as in 2002/03 (510,700).
  • 304,200 were for diseases or injuries that were wholly attributable to alcohol consumption (e.g. mental and behaviour disorders due to the use of alcohol), 916,100 admissions were for reasons that are partly attributable to alcohol consumption (e.g. hypertensive diseases)

As you can see from the chart below the number and proportion of young people needing hospital treatment as a result of alcohol misuse is less than any other age group.

Hospital admissions for alcohol by age 2013

Cost to NHS

  • The estimated costs to the NHS of alcohol misuse show that it costs £3.5 billion every year.
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