Study Shows 2000 Drink-Related Deaths In 11 years

Nearly 2,000 people died from alcohol-related problems over an 11-year period, a new study released today reveals.

It follows a 17% rise in the amount of drink consumed from 11.5 litres per adult in 1995 to 13.4 litres in 2006, the Health Research Board (HRB) found.

Almost 70% of the deaths accounted for people aged under 60.

The report also found the number of people discharged from hospital with alcohol problems or injuries jumped 90% between 1995 and 2004, placing a major strain on services.

Dr Deirdre Mongan, author of the report and the HRB’s research officer, said: “These figures from the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE) scheme are remarkable.

“Because HIPE does not record people attending Accident and Emergency who are not actually admitted to a hospital bed, it is fair to assume that these figures actually underestimate the pressure of problem alcohol use on acute hospital services,” she said.

Of the 1,775 people who died from alcohol problems, 68% were aged under 60 years of age.

“To put this in perspective, only 21% of deaths in the general population in this period were under 65 years of age, which highlights the increased risk of premature death associated with alcohol use,” Dr Mongan said.