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NHS reveals cost of alcohol illness
A MAP of alcohol-related health costs launched by Alcohol Concern reveals the baby boomer generation in Hampshire are the greatest burden on the NHS compared to all other age groups, costing £17.6million in inpatient costs alone.
The figures reveal the inpatient cost of the 55-74 age group in Hampshire is almost 15 times greater than the 16-24 age group, which cost £1.2million in inpatient costs last year.
The 55 to 74-year-olds actually account for more in inpatient costs in Hampshire than the 16-24 age group inpatient costs plus all alcohol-related A&E costs put together.
The new Alcohol Harm Map provides the first complete picture of alcohol-related health costs across England by local authority.
More than seven-and-a-half times as many 55 to 74-year-olds (8,665) were admitted as inpatients compared to 16 to 24-year-olds (1,154) in Hampshire in the financial year 2010-2011.
The cost of alcohol-related inpatient admissions in the county was £42.3m, almost three-and-a-half times greater than the cost of alcohol-related A&E admissions, which cost £12.1m.
The cost of alcohol-related inpatient admissions for men was £26.6m, almost twice that for women, £15.7m.
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.”
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, president of the British Gastroenterology Society and former president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “It is the unwitting chronic middle-aged drinkers who are taking serious risks with their health.
“They present in hospital with conditions attributable to their alcohol consumption such as stroke, heart disease, cancer and liver disease.
“People simply do not realise that chronic drinking significantly increases their chances of suffering health problems. Indeed it is these people who are costing the NHS the most.”
To see the map go to alcoholconcern.org.uk.