Liver problems put more than 100 drinkers in hospital a day


Last updated at 20:56 02 July 2007

More than 100 men and women are

admitted to hospital with alcoholrelated

liver disease every day, it

was has been revealed.

The number of admissions has tripled

over the past ten years and the British

Liver Trust blamed it in part on the 24-

hour drinking culture.

Figures highlighted by the charity

show that 39,180 people were admitted

to hospital with liver disease last

year in England alone.

This latest evidence of the effects of

binge-drinking follows the release of

statistics last week showing that 42 per

cent of men and 38 per cent of women

aged 16 to 24 consume more than the

daily recommended amount of alcohol.

The charity said this put them at risk

of developing liver disease in the next

five to ten years.

Alison Rogers, chief executive of the

trust, said: "Cheap and accessible booze

coupled with the UK's 'any time, anywhere,

any place' mentality is costingus all very dear, and far too many are

literally paying with their lives.

"Every day four people an hour are

being admitted to hospital due to

alcoholic liver disease.

"The fact that alcohol-related admissions

in England have doubled since

1995/6 should be a matter of great

alarm. If it were road traffic deaths,

there would be a public outcry."

She said the Government and drinks

manufacturers must do more to

inform consumers about the health

risks of excess drinking.

Ministers have announced a voluntary

agreement with the drinks industry

that warnings will be placed on

bottles and cans. But Mrs Rogers said

this was not going far enough.

"Everyone has to take their share of

responsibility," she said. "Individuals

have to think more about their own consumption, but government should

be pushing the drinks industry much

harder, especially if it is relying on

them to self-regulate."

She suggested the Government

might be reluctant to take stronger

action under pressure from the Treasury,

which collects large amounts of

revenue from sales of alcohol.

She added: "We saw with the tobacco

industry that it took decades of pressure

to overcome the reluctance of

ministers to warn people properly

about the dangers of smoking – how

long must we wait for the alcohol messages

to get through?"

Figures from the Information Centre

for Health and Social Care, released

last week, showed there were 187,640

alcohol-related hospital admissions in

England in 2005/06 – up 14 per cent on

the previous year, and double the figure

a decade ago.

The number of deaths climbed from

4,307 to 6,570.

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