Alcohol-related harm and drinking behaviour
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to harmful health consequences in the short term but also in the long term through conditions such as liver disease, stroke and some cancers. Alcohol related hospital activity and deaths are a potentially avoidable burden to the health service.
The number of alcohol-related hospital admissions is calculated using a method developed by the North West Public Health Observatory. This method is based on alcohol attributable fractions of a range of diseases and injuries that are caused by alcohol consumption. The data presented here is based on the narrow measure which takes account of diagnoses recorded as a primary diagnosis. There is also a broad measure which takes account of both primary and secondary diagnoses.
The National Statistics definition of alcohol-related deaths includes underlying causes of death regarded as those being most directly due to alcohol consumption. The definition is primarily based on chronic conditions associated with long-term abuse of alcohol and, to a lesser extent, acute conditions. Apart from poisoning with alcohol (accidental, intentional or undetermined), the definition excludes other external causes of death, such as road traffic and other accidents.
The definition does not include diseases that are partially attributable to alcohol, such as cancers of the mouth, oesophagus and liver. However, all deaths from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (excluding biliary cirrhosis) are included, even when alcohol is not specifically mentioned on the death certificate.