‘Statistics on Alcohol, England 2010’ was published by the NHS in May. This statistical report presents a range of information on alcohol use and misuse which are drawn together from a variety of published sources and includes additional analysis undertaken by the NHS Information Centre for health and social care.
The report aims to present a broad picture of health issues relating to alcohol in England and covers topics such as drinking habits and behaviours among adults (aged 16 and over) and school children (aged 11 to 15), drinking-related mortality, affordability of alcohol and alcohol-related costs. Drinking behaviour among adults and children.
Key facts from the report include:
In England, in 2008:
• 71% of men and 56% of women (aged 16 and over) reported drinking an alcoholic drink on at least one day in the week prior to interview. 11% of men and 6% of women reported drinking on every day in the previous week.
22% of men reported drinking over 8 units and 15% of women reported drinking over 6 units on at least one day in the week prior to interview.
• The average weekly alcohol consumption was 16.8 units for men and 8.6 units for women.
• 28% of men reported drinking more than 21 units in an average week. For women, 19% reported drinking more than 14 units in an average week.
• 18% of school pupils aged 11 to 15 reported drinking alcohol in the week prior to interview; this figure is lower than 2001, when 26% of pupils reported drinking in the last week.
• 48% of pupils said they had never had a proper alcoholic drink, compared to 39% in 2003.
• Pupils who drank in the last week consumed an average of 14.6 units.
• In 2006 to 2008, young people in London were less likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week (39%) than young people living in any other Government Office Region (51% to 63%).
Knowledge and attitudes to alcohol
• In 2009, 90% of Great Britain (GB) respondents reported that they had heard of measuring alcohol in units.
• There has been an increase from 54% in 1997 to 75% in 2009 in the proportion of people in GB who had heard of daily drinking limits. Throughout the period, differences between men and women have been slight.
• Pupils in England aged 11 to 15 are becoming less tolerant of drinking and drunkenness among their peers. For example, in 2008, 36% agreed that “it was OK for someone of their age to drink alcohol once a week”, compared with 46% in 2003.
Drinking related costs, ill health and mortality in England:
• In 2007, 6% of men and 2% of women are estimated to be harmful drinkers, the most serious form of hazardous drinking, which means that damage to health is likely.
• In 2008, there were 6,769 deaths directly related to alcohol. Of these alcohol related deaths, the majority (4,400) died from alcoholic liver disease.