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Record number of UK alcohol-related deaths since records began


Record number of UK alcohol-related deaths since records began

A record number of people died from alcohol-related causes in the UK last year since records began in 2001, according to the latest official figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics revealed there were 9,641 deaths in 2021, with the alcohol-specific death rate 25.4 per cent higher than in 2019.

The 2021 figure represented 14.8 per 100,000 people and was 7.4 per cent higher than in 2020 when there were 8,974 deaths.

Scotland had the highest death rate last year with 22.4 per 100,000 people, followed by Northern Ireland (19.3), Wales (15) and England (13.9), where rates of alcohol-specific deaths have increased in every region since 2019.

Last year in the UK there was twice as many male than female fatalities with 20.1 and 9.9 deaths per 100,000 people respectively.

The majority of deaths were caused by alcoholic liver disease followed by mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use then accidental poisoning by, and exposure to, alcohol.

“Alcohol-specific deaths have risen sharply since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with alcoholic liver disease the leading cause of these deaths. This rise is likely to be the result of increased alcohol consumption during the pandemic,” said James Tucker, data and analysis for social care and health division at the ONS.

“Research has suggested that people who were already drinking at higher levels before the pandemic were the most likely to have increased their alcohol consumption during this period."

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