Baby boomer alcohol harm 'more likely than in young'

 
Glasses of wine A variety of methods have been used by countries to try to curb problem drinking

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More NHS money is spent treating alcohol-related illness in baby boomers than young people, a study says.

The Alcohol Concern report found the cost of hospital admissions linked to heavy drinking among 55 to 74-year-olds in 2010-11 was more than £825m.

That was 10 times the figure for 16 to 24-year-olds.

In total, nearly £2bn was spent on alcohol-related in-patient admissions in England, the report found.

This comes as more than 10 million people in England are drinking above the recommended levels, according to the report.

The sum spent on treating the baby boomer generation went on 454,317 patients, compared with the 54,682 under-24s who were treated at a cost of £64m.

Problem drinking is a contributing factor for a host of diseases, including liver, kidney and heart disease, as well as increasing the risk of injury.

Graphic showing cost of admissions

In many ways the findings are not surprising as the effects of drinking are more likely to catch up with people later in life.

'Expensive care'

But the charity said part of the reason for compiling the report, which was based on NHS figures, was to break down the data by individual local authority area.

Start Quote

It is the unwitting chronic middle-aged drinkers who are taking serious risks with their health”

End Quote Sir Ian Gilmore Liver disease expert

The figures have been collated in a clickable map.

It hopes the information, compiled with funding from drug company Lundbeck, will be used by councils next year when they take responsibility for problem drinking as part of their new remit covering public health under the shake-up of the NHS.

Alcohol Concern chief executive Eric Appleby said he hoped they would use the findings to help them focus their energy on schemes to tackle problem drinking.

"It is a common perception that young people are responsible for the increasing cost of alcohol misuse, but our findings show that in reality this is not the case.

"It is the middle-aged, and often middle-class drinker, regularly drinking above recommended limits, who are actually requiring this complex and expensive NHS care."

Liver disease expert Sir Ian Gilmore, a former president of the Royal College of Physicians, who has long campaigned about alcohol misuse, agreed. He said: "It is the unwitting chronic middle-aged drinkers who are taking serious risks with their health."

 

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  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 40.

    It's really difficult typing a comments and opening a tote of wine at the same time.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 39.

    Where's the money from to get sozzled to warrant a trip to A&E. I have a pretty well paid job but in this day & age certainly could not afford it. Even had to quit smoking now because my Nanny kept interfering & has now made it impossible to afford that as well by pricing fags out of the market.

    Life is a bore. Let us enjoy what we can & if we do die young think of the saving to the NHS & DSS.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 38.

    I find it incredulous that the baby boomer generation, who in the sixties went out En Masse on the biggest sex, drink and drug "binge-fest" a generation has ever seen, are the very same self righteous, jumped up, dictators that seem to delight in lecturing everybody else, demanding nobody else should ever do what they did. Its jealousy because they are bitter and old.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 37.

    I thought that older Daily Mail readers always started the day with a double snorter, gets them all worked up and angry!

    Bitterly complaining about youth, scroungers, Labour Party, immigramts, burkas, etc.

    The majority of rescues by community police after dark, are wobbling older men trying to find their way home. They follow them discreetly for a bit then carry them the rest of the way

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 36.

    10. Sue Doughcoup
    It could be argued that most health conditions are self-inflicted. Pregnancy, obesity, sports injuries, bad driving, lack of exercise, too much exercise etc. Where do you stop? It would be interesting to see the figures on the tax revenue generated from alcohol sales to compare with the cost of treatment of alcohol related health conditions.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 35.

    Aren't we in a baby boom now? Does that mean all new parents are messing up the "system" too ?

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 34.

    Go down the (non-student) pub during the day - it's hardly new that the retired and approaching retired drink. I'm sure they're also a burden on the NHS as they grow old and their bodies begin to fail - helped by lifestyle choices or not.

    I probably won't have a state pension if I make it to retirement age (whatever that'll be in 35 odd years), so excuse me whilst I pickle myself down the pub!

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 33.

    When reading stories like this, you always have to look at where the stats come from. After constantly bashing young binge drinkers, now it's the turn of old people to take the flak. Alcohol Concern probably won't be happy until we have prohibition. And this is a non-story. An 18yo will come in, have their stomach pumped and be out the next day. Old people have long term probs so cost more. Duuuh.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 32.

    @21.Mark

    Stop reading the Mail my friend it appears to have turned you into a bitter and twisted biggot. Your generation has lived the highlife and left the upcoming generations one hell of a 'hangover' to deal with. It's so easy to call younger people feckless and lazy when there are no jobs and affordable housing. I bet you couldn't afford to buy your own house now (while loving the equity).

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 31.

    @23. Daily Fail

    Hahaha, oh dear. For years the Daily Mail have been whingeing about "binge Britain" and drunken youths.

    But actually, as it turns out, the worst drink problems are among the middle aged, middle classes.....many of whom are Daily Mail readers.

    You couldn't make it up !!

    --

    Unfortunately, the BBC just have.

    They should change their motto to "Lies, damned lies and statistics".

  • rate this
    +16

    Comment number 30.

    As some of these diseases are chronic, for example liver disease, it stands to reason that the older generation are more afflicted. In the long run things aren't likely to get any better!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 29.

    I'm in this age group, but have never been a drinker or smoker or ever gambled. I'm not sure why, perhaps a strict C of E upbringing, but these these things never interested me in the late 1970's when it was the norm to drink and smoke.

    However I'm glad I have never indulged as I work with people a bit older than me that have drunk and smoked and they look about 80 years old.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 28.

    Who funds these charities that keep coming out with bogus reports? There is absolutely no way to determine that a particular disease is caused solely by alcohol consumption. I suppose this is just the 'Temperance' movement under a modern name. Sexually transmitted diseases next I expect.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 27.

    Drunk grandparents

    I always wondered my Granny was so giggly whenever we visited, chatting to the budgie not us, and Grandad would not get up out of his chair, just waved & grinned from the sitting room.

    Sounds all very British. Samuel Johnson was complaining about Boswell during their totting tour of the Highlands.

    Gin Alley! The Brits have always got drunk to cheer themselves up.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 26.

    As usual the BBC is not presenting the data correctly. Of course more baby boomers are being treated - there are more of us! (And yes, as others have said, the effects of booze can take years to hit critical level.) The real question is: What *percentage* of each age group is having these problems? The BBC should stop rehashing press releases and give us a proper analysis.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 25.

    "Problem drinking is a contributing factor for a host of diseases, including liver, kidney and heart disease, as well as increasing the risk of injury."

    But not all liver, kidney and heart disease is caused by over indulging in alcohol. Baby boomers are most likely to suffer these because of their age. Diet and lack of exercise also contributory factors. 2 +2 = 5?

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 24.

    10. How much money would you be prepared to waste on determining unequivocally whether an illness is "self-inflicted" or not? Should we send some scrunch-faced nutritionist around to check that people weren't eating anything unhealthy before we treat them too? What about if I break my leg doing something? Do I need witnesses to attest that that thing was worth doing?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 23.

    Hahaha, oh dear. For years the Daily Mail have been whingeing about "binge Britain" and drunken youths.

    But actually, as it turns out, the worst drink problems are among the middle aged, middle classes.....many of whom are Daily Mail readers.

    You couldn't make it up !!

  • rate this
    +21

    Comment number 22.

    Well, if it's £1817 per admission on average for a baby boomer and the tax on a £10 bottle of wine is £8, we'll have paid that off years ago. In fact we might be in credit...

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 21.

    I'd rather NHS money go on 55 - 74 year olds most of whom will have worked hard all their lives and thrown more than their fair share into the pot than on "health tourists" or many of the younger generations whom don't want to work and just drink and procreate and hence cost society even more.

 

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