UK sees record number of alcohol deaths in 2021 due to pandemic

World
Sat, 17 Dec 2022 8:37 GMT
The United Kingdom saw a higher number of deaths from the consequences of heavy alcohol consumption in 2021 than ever before, the British statistics authority ONS announced on Thursday.
UK sees record number of alcohol deaths in 2021 due to pandemic

The United Kingdom saw a higher number of deaths from the consequences of heavy alcohol consumption in 2021 than ever before, the British statistics authority ONS announced.

This is probably due to the Covid-19 pandemic, during which heavy drinkers consumed even more alcohol than they did in previous years, the authority said.

The deaths of 9,641 people in the United Kingdom could be directly linked to alcohol. That was over a quarter more than in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic.

After the death figures had been stable for years, they rose significantly in 2020 and again by around 7.4% in 2021.

Researchers had expected the trend. In the summer, a study by the University of Sheffield had shown that especially people who already consumed risky amounts before drank more during the period of lockdowns and contact restrictions.

"These statistics are absolutely devastating, each number masking an individual family tragedy," Karen Tyrell of the charity Drinkaware told the BBC.

"It is unacceptable that in one of the richest countries in the world, the rate of alcohol-related deaths was four times higher among men in the poorest areas compared to the most affluent."

Campaigners are calling for, among other things, a significant increase in alcohol duty.

The highest number of people died in Scotland, where the rate was 22.4 alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The largest part of the country, England, had the fewest with 13.9.

Liver disease was by far the most common cause of death. Men died twice as often from the consequences of their alcohol consumption as women.

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