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The number of alcohol-related deaths in the United Kingdom has consistently increased since the early 1990s, rising from the lowest figure of 4,023 (6.7 per 100,000) in 1992 to the highest of 9,031 (13.6 per 100,000) in 2008. Although figures in recent years suggested that the trend was levelling out, alcohol-related deaths in males increased further in 2008. Female rates have remained stable.
There are more alcohol-related deaths in men than in women. The rate of male deaths has more than doubled over the period from 9.1 per 100,000 in 1991 to 18.7 per 100,000 in 2008. There have been steadier increases in female rates, rising from 5.0 per 100,000 in 1991 to 8.7 in 2008, less than half the rate for males. In 2008, males accounted for approximately two-thirds of the total number of alcohol-related deaths. There were 5,999 deaths in men and 3,032 in women.
The trends differ according to age. For both males and females, the lowest rates across the period were in those aged 15-34. In 2008, the rates were 2.9 per 100,000 and 1.3 per 100,000 respectively. The highest rates have occurred in persons aged 55-74. In men, the rate has increased from 23.0 per 100,000 in 1992 and 1993 to 45.8 per 100,000 in 2008, the highest rate recorded across all age groups. Alcohol-related deaths in all age groups increased in 2008 compared with figures in 2007.
Alcohol-related death rates among females have been consistently lower than rates for males and trends demonstrate a broadly similar pattern across different age groups. As for men, the highest rates for women during the 1991-2008 period were in those aged 55-74. In 2008, the rate for this group peaked at 21.5 per 100,000. Rates in all other age groups decreased slightly and were lowest in women aged 15-34 at 1.3 per 100,000.