www.chinaview.cn 2006-01-06 22:50:57
LONDON, Jan. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Britain is the number one European country when it comes to deaths from cirrhosis of the liver as a result of alcohol abuse, a medical report revealed today.
New research published in The Lancet journal shows that deaths from cirrhosis of the liver have soared in Britain, while figures have fallen in the rest of Europe, Sky News reported on Friday.
Mortality rates for the disease in Britain trebled between 1970 and 1998 but deaths in Europe fell by 30 percent during the same period.
Those aged between 45 and 64 are said to be most at risk, and doctors suggest that one way to tackle the problem is to do away with the notion that drinking is "socially acceptable."
Lesley King-Lewis, chief executive of the research charity Action on Addiction, said the new research proved that Britain's drinking culture is seriously damaging the nation's health.
Some eight million people in Britain are hazardous drinkers who consume more than the recommended daily limit, while 1.1 million are said to be dependent on alcohol.
More than 6,500 people die each year in England and Wales from alcohol-related liver disease, cancer and poisoning, and a further 30,000 deaths are linked to drinking in some way.
Alcohol abuse is estimated to cost the National Health Service three billion pounds (some 5.4 billion US dollars).
New licensing laws came into force at the end of last year allowing bars, pubs and clubs in England and Wales to serve alcohol around the clock. Enditem