Statistics: Record number of alcohol deaths in the UK

Record number of alcohol deaths in Britain

The silhouette of a man drinking alcohol. In Great Britain, the number of alcohol deaths during the Corona period has risen drastically. photo

© Arno Burgi/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

Why is it that in 2021 more people than ever before have died as a result of their alcohol consumption? The British statistics authority ONS gives a plausible reason.

In the UK, more people than ever have died from the effects of heavy drinking in 2021. This is probably due to the corona pandemic, while the heavy drinker consumed even more alcohol than usual, the British statistical authority ONS announced on Thursday.

According to this, the deaths of 9,641 people in the UK could be directly linked to alcohol. That is a good quarter more than in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic. After the number of deaths had been stable for years, they rose significantly in 2020 – and again by around 7.4 percent in 2021.

The trend was expected by researchers. In the summer, a study by the University of Sheffield showed that people who had previously consumed risky amounts in particular drank more during the period of corona lockdowns and contact restrictions.

“These statistics are absolutely devastating. Behind every number lies an individual family tragedy,” said Karen Tyrell of the BBC’s Drinkaware charity. “It is unacceptable that in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the rate of alcohol-related deaths among men in the poorest areas was four times higher than in the wealthiest.” Among other things, activists are calling for a significant increase in the alcohol tax.

Most people died in Scotland, where the rate was 22.4 alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. In England, the largest part of the country, it was the least at 13.9. Liver disease was by far the most common cause of death. Men are twice as likely to die as a result of their alcohol consumption as women.

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