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UK breaks new record in alcohol-related deaths in 2020

UK breaks new record in alcohol-related deaths in 2020
UK breaks new record in alcohol-related deaths in 2020
Written by Harry Johnson

While Scotland and Ireland had the highest mortality, at 21.5 and 19.6 deaths per 100,000 people respectively, all four UK nations saw an increase in rates of alcohol-specific deaths.

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Newly released data from Great Britain’s Office of National Statistics (ONS), shows that between 2012 and 2019, the number of alcohol-specific deaths remained stable, but last year saw a “statistically significant increase”.

According to new figures released today, Great Britain has seen its highest yearly increase in the number of deaths directly related to alcohol consumption, with the new record reached in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

8,974 deaths “from alcohol-specific causes” were registered in the United Kingdom in 2020. The figure represents an 18.6% increase in deaths of that category compared with 2019 and is the highest such year-on-year increase since the data began being tracked in 2001, the ONS said.

While Scotland and Ireland had the highest mortality, at 21.5 and 19.6 deaths per 100,000 people respectively, all four UK nations saw an increase in rates of alcohol-specific deaths.

Almost 78% of such deaths were caused by alcoholic liver disease, the statistics body said.

The ONS underlined that as there are “many complex factors” to analyze when considering the data, and said it is still too early to jump to conclusions about possible connections between the pandemic and the increase in alcohol-related deaths.

However, it also referred to Public Health England data showing that consumption patterns have changed during the pandemic, with alcohol being “a contributing factor to hospital admissions and deaths”.

The Alcohol Change charity last month raised concern over alcohol consumption amid the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization said that “research consistently shows that the coronavirus pandemic has created conditions for more people to drink more heavily and more often than usual”.

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for almost 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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