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Scots ex-pats drink warning

20th March 2009

A study carried out by researchers at Edinburgh University has found expatriate Scots who reside in England and Wales have double the risk of dying from alcohol-related disease compared to local people.

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The research, published the Journal of Public Health, said a "greater drinking culture" probably counted towards the reason why Scottish people had more danger of liver cancer deaths. 

The study looked at data gathered from the 2001 census and death rates for England and Wales from 1999 to 2003. The team quantified the connection between a subject's birth place and their risk of death from an alcohol-related disease.

The study showed that an explanation for the disparity in death rates for alcohol-related disease could come from "cultural differences" related to the amount of alcohol consumed.

People who are born in Scotland or Ireland have been found to have a higher average consumption of alcohol than the advised daily limit.

Dr Neeraj Bhala, of Edinburgh University who led the study, said: "Deaths from alcohol-related conditions, liver disease and liver cancer are increasing in the UK, but little is known about the role of ethnicity or country of birth."

She explained that some ethnic groups had "very low" levels of liver disease which was "almost certainly" because they drank little or no alcohol.

"These findings show significant differences in death rates by country of birth for both alcohol-related deaths and liver cancer," she said.

 

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