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Alcohol risks warning

4th May 2011

Doctors have issued a stark warning over the dangers of drinking to much alcohol.

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They fear that a significant proportion of adults are risking alcohol-related health problems because of the amount they consume.

And in a BMA Scotland survey, which focused on one day last month, family doctors saw more than 5,500 patients where alcohol had contributed to their ill health and say that alcohol was a factor in 65 of all GP consultations.

It has prompted the BMA to lobby Scottish politicians on how they plan to tackle alcohol misuse.

Dr Alan McDevitt, deputy chairman of the BMA's Scottish General Practitioners Committee, said: “Those who suffer from alcohol-related health problems are not just alcoholics or heavy binge drinkers.

“By regularly drinking over and above recommended limits, a significant proportion of the adult population is at risk of experiencing health problems that are linked to the alcohol they consume, whether it is high blood pressure, breast cancer or even domestic abuse.”

The British Medical Association study was based on a sample of 31 of the 1,009 GP practises across Scotland.

Despite the BMA survey, there are indications that the number of people admitted to hospital for alcohol-related reasons is falling.

NHS data shows that alcohol-related hospital admissions peaked in 2007/8 when they reached 788 per 100,000 of the population but fell to 763 per 100,000 in 2008/9 with the provisional figure for 2009/10 at 709 per 100,000 people.

Alcohol-related deaths, which peaked in 2006 with 1,546, fell to 1,281 in 2009.

 

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