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Alcohol hospital admissions double in a decade

The number of people being admitted to hospital after drinking too much alcohol has more than doubled in less than a decade, new research show.Alcohol hospital admissions double in a decadeSome 1,173,386 people in England were admitted to casualty for injuries or illnesses caused by drinking in 2010/11, compared with just 510,780 in 2002/3, according to the research.

The figures for last year represent an 11 per cent increase on the previous 12 months, when alcohol-related admissions stood at 1,056,962.

Separate information published by Anne Milton, the public health minister, showed that since January an estimated 7,074 under-18s have been admitted to hospital due to alcohol abuse.

A recent report predicted that binge drinking will cost the NHS £3.8 billion by 2015, with 1.5 million A&E admissions a year.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, blamed Labour’s 24-hour drinking policy and accused the last government of “taking their eye of the ball” on the issue of binge drinking.

He said: “These figures are disturbing evidence that, despite total consumption of alcohol not increasing recently, we have serious problems with both binge-drinking and long-term excessive alcohol abuse in a minority of people.

“Our alcohol strategy, which we will set out in the new year, will outline what further steps we are taking to tackle this growing problem.”

Recent Local Alcohol Profiles for England figures also show that the number of hospital admissions for conditions attributable to alcohol are rising at a similar rate.

The number of admissions has more than doubled since 2002/03 and increased by nine per cent last year.

In 2002/03 there were 926 admissions per 100,000 people for conditions caused by alcohol, rising to 1,743 per 100,000 in 2009/10 and 1,898 last year.

The biggest increase over the past 12 months was in London, with a jump in admissions of 14 per cent, followed by the East of England with 10 per cent.

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