Alcohol-specific deaths among UK women reach record high

Woman drinking

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The number of women who have died alcohol-specific deaths in the UK have reached the highest levels since records began in 2001.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that in 2017, women died due to alcohol at a rate of 8 per 100,000 females.

The last time the rate was almost as high was in 2008, when alcohol-specific deaths in women reached 7.9 per 100,000.



The figures also showed that death rates among men continue to be double the figure recorded for women, at a rate of 16.8 per 100,000 males.

Across the UK, Scotland has the highest rate of alcohol-specific deaths, yet it is the only country in the UK which has seen a significant decrease in deaths from alcohol since 2001, with a 21 per cent reduction.

Northern Ireland has seen the largest difference in the rate since 2001 compared with the other UK countries, with a 40 per cent increase in alcohol-specific deaths.

There were 7,697 deaths due to alcohol in the UK in 2017, similar to the highest levels recorded in 2008.


Over 60s most at risk

 A beer enthusiast at London's Great British Beer Festival. Image: Getty

Death rates were highest among 60 to 64-year-olds in 2017, overtaking 50 to 54-year-olds who had the highest rate in 2001.

Karen Tyrell,  executive director of external affairs at Addaction, said a "lot more" needed to be done to help "older drinkers".



"We know alcohol is an issue for over-50s and we need to do a lot more to reach this group in a way that works for them. For older drinkers, alcoholoften creeps up and gradually plays a more central role in day-to-day life," she said.

"The people we work with frequently talk about alcohol as a way to deal with loneliness, isolation, and the sense of loss that sometimes comes with retirement and move into a new phase of life."