Fears over Preston’s toll of booze-related disease

Concern: Mr Appleby
Concern: Mr Appleby
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Preston has one of the highest rates of liver disease in the North West, a new report has revealed.

And the city has the fourth highest level of deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, according to research from the North West Public Health Observatory.

The Liverpool-based research unit’s figures show 16.8 people per 100,000 of the population died of alcohol-related liver disease in Preston between 2006 and 2010, behind only Blackpool, Liverpool and Manchester.

More than 159 people per 100,000 of the population were hospitalised because of liver disease in 2010/11.

Only three other areas had higher figures.

Henry Ashworth, chief executive of the Portman Group, which campaigns for safe drinking, said: “The vast majority of adults in the UK (78%) drink within government guidelines, and levels of harmful drinking are falling.

“However, below the surface of an increasingly encouraging national picture, there are local areas that demonstrate disproportionately high levels of alcohol–related harms, which are of great concern.

“A more locally-targeted approach to tackling alcohol misuse, and the associated health and social harms, would go a long way to improving the national picture even further.”

The figures come after Alcohol Concern released its own “map” of alcohol related health costs this month which claims that the “baby boom” generation in Lancashire are the greatest drain on NHS resources.

The figures reveal the inpatient cost of the 55-74 age group in Lancashire, closely aligned to the baby boom generation, is almost 12 times greater than the 16-24 age group, often negatively associated with ‘binge drinking’ and their impact on NHS resources.

Furthermore, the baby boom generation inpatient costs in Lancashire are greater than the 16-24 age group inpatient costs plus all alcohol related A&E costs put together.

Alcohol Concern chief executive Eric Appleby said: “It is the common perception that young people are responsible for the increasing cost of alcohol misuse, but our findings show that in reality this is not the case.

“It is the middle-aged, and often middle class drinker, regularly drinking above recommended limits, who are actually requiring complex and expensive NHS care.”