Emergency hospital admissions due to alcohol have risen by more than 50% in nine years, according to a study, while the rate of people attending A&E with probable alcohol poisoning has doubled in six years.
The authors of the Nuffield Trust report set out to assess the extent of alcohol-specific activity in hospitals in England, whether it had increased over time, and whether these trends were different across demographic, socio-economic and regional patterns.
The findings show that over a nine year period from 2005-6 to 2013-14 alcohol specific in-patient admissions to hospital increased by 63.6%.
Within this group, emergency admissions increased by 53.9%, from 374.9 per 100,000 population to 577.1 per 100,000 population.
Over six years from 2008-9 to 2013-14 A&E attendance rates likely to be due to alcohol poisoning doubled, from 72.7 per 100,000 of population to 148.8 per 100,000 – a 104.6% increase.
Within this group, the highest rates of likely alcohol poisoning were seen in younger age groups (15 to 24-year-olds), and in particular young women aged 15 to 19 years, where the rate was approximately one and half times higher than men in the same age group.
Rates were higher in the north of England, and attendance rates likely to be due to alcohol poisoning were also three and a half times higher among those living in the 20% most deprived areas in England.
In 2013-14, over half of all A&E attendances likely to be due to alcohol poisoning took place on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday (51.1%, or 33,653 out of 65,882).
The researchers looked at only measures of hospital activity specific to alcohol, thereby excluding conditions where alcohol was a contributing factor, such as falls, domestic violence or heart disease.