Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2009 [NS]
This statistical report presents a range of information on alcohol use and misuse drawn together from a variety of published sources and presented in a user friendly format.
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 and school children, drinking related ill health and mortality, affordability of alcohol and alcohol related costs.
Drinking behaviour among adults and children
- in 2007, 73 per cent of men and 57 per cent of women reported drinking an alcoholic drink on at least one day in the week prior to interview. 13 per cent of men and 7 per cent of women reported drinking on every day in the previous week
- in 2007, 41 per cent of men drank over 4 units on at least one day in the week prior to interview and 34 per cent of women drank more than 3 units on at least one day in the week prior to interview. Twenty five per cent of men reported drinking over 8 units and 16 per cent of women reported drinking over 6 units on at least one day in the week prior to interview
- the method used for calculating the number of alcoholic units drunk changed in recent years, so a complete time series is not available. Using the original method, among men between 1998 and 2006 the proportion drinking more than 8 units on at least one day of the week prior to interview fell from 22 per cent to 18 per cent, among women drinking more than 6 units on at least one day of the week prior to interview, no such reduction was seen
- in 2006, 31 per cent of men reported drinking more than 21 units in an average week. For women, 20 per cent reported drinking more than 14 units in an average week
- using the original method of unit conversion, among men between 1998 and 2006 the proportion drinking more than 21 units a week on average fell from 28 per cent to 23 per cent, the percentage of women drinking more than 14 units in an average week fell from 15 per cent to 13 per cent in the same time period
- in 2007, 20 per cent of school pupils aged 11 to 15 reported drinking alcohol in the week prior to interview; this figure is lower than 2001, when 26 per cent of pupils reported drinking in the last week
- in 2007, 46 per cent of pupils said they had never had a proper alcoholic drink, compared to 39 per cent in 2003
- in 2007, pupils who drank in the last week consumed an average of 12.7 units.
Knowledge and attitudes to alcohol
- ninety two per cent of men and 89 per cent of women reported that they had heard of measuring alcohol in units. There was less knowledge of the recommended maximum daily intake; 35 per cent of men and 47 per cent of women had heard of units but said they didn't know what the recommendations were for men, and 39 per cent of men and 43 per cent of women similarly knew about units but said they did not know the recommendations for women
- sixteen per cent of men and 14 per cent of women who had drunk in the last year said they would like to drink less
- forty one per cent of pupils thought it was OK to drink alcohol once a week and 17 per cent thought it was OK to get drunk at least once a week.
Drinking related costs, ill health and mortality
- in 2007, 33 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women (24 per cent of adults) were classified as hazardous drinkers. Six per cent of men and two per cent of women were estimated to be harmful drinkers, the most serious form of hazardous drinking, which means that damage to health is likely. Among adults aged 16 to 74, nine per cent of men and four per cent of women showed some signs of alcohol dependence. The prevalence of alcohol dependence is slightly lower for men than it was in 2000 when 11.5 per cent of men showed some signs of dependence. There was no significant change for women between 2000 and 2007
- in 2007/08 there were 863,300 alcohol related admissions to hospital. This is an increase of 69 per cent since 2002/03 when there were 510,200 alcohol related admissions
- in 2007/8 62 per cent of alcohol related admissions were for men. Among both men and women there were more admissions in the older age groups than in the younger age groups
- in England in 2007, there were 134,429 prescription items for drugs for the treatment of alcohol dependency prescribed in primary care settings or NHS hospitals and dispensed in the community. This is an increase of 31 per cent since 2003 when there were 102,741 prescription items
- in 2007, in England, there were 6,541 deaths directly related to alcohol this has increased by 19 per cent since 2001. Of these alcohol related deaths, the majority (4,249) died from alcoholic liver disease
- it is estimated that the cost of alcohol related harm to the NHS in England is £2.7 billion in 2006/07 prices.