‘Time bomb’ warning for women’s alcohol deaths

Deaths from alcohol-related disease in women in their 30s and 40s are rising, a study suggests.

This goes against the current downward trend generally across the UK.

The study, which appears online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, sums up suggests that ‘recent decreases in alcohol-related deaths have been experienced across the population, with the exception of young women where worrying increases in alcohol-related deaths are seen.’

Experts looked at deaths in men and women of all ages in Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester from 1980 to 2011.

They said the results for women born in the 1970s should be an ‘early warning sign’ if deaths from alcohol are to reduce in the long term.

The report looked at patterns of alcohol-related mortality in the three cities, that all have similar patterns of deprivation and poor health.

It compared trends in alcohol-related deaths of people born between 1910 and 1979.

Overall, men were much more likely to die from alcohol-related disease than women – and the age range most affected was people in their 40s and 50s.

But for women born in the 1970s the death rate actually increased in all three cities.

For men, comparable figures showed a recent decrease.

The report concluded that one ‘important finding is the increase in alcohol-related deaths in the younger cohort, particularly in women.’

It suggested: ‘It is imperative that this early warning sign is acted upon. Given this increase in the younger cohort is seen in all three cities it is hard to dismiss this as a city-specific phenomenon. Failure to have a policy response to this new trend may result in the effects of this increase being played out for decades to come.’

 

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