Alcohol related deaths are falling across the North East, but the region continues to have some of England’s highest mortality rates.
Figures published yesterday by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the North East has the second highest rate of alcohol related deaths for both males and females in England.
In the area death rates for men is 20% higher than the national male rate, at 17.6 deaths per 100,000, compared to an England average rate of 14.7 per 100,000.
Meanwhile, the region has the second highest rate of alcohol related deaths in women at 9.8 deaths per 100,000 compared to an England average of 7.3 deaths.
Sue Taylor, partnerships manager at Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said: “Although we welcome the fact that rates here in the North East fell faster than the England average in the last year, we continue to have one of the biggest problems with alcohol in England.
“There’s been an astonishing leap in alcohol related deaths over the last two decades and it’s particularly alarming that our rate of alcohol related female deaths is a third higher than the England average. We must do more.”
The number of male deaths has decreased 19% from a peak of 314 deaths in 2010 to 255 in 2012. The number of female deaths in the North East increased marginally from 155 in 2010 to 158 in 2011. However, 2012 witnessed a 5% decline in female deaths since the previous year, falling back down to a total of 150 deaths.
The misuse of alcohol has become a “serious and worsening public health problem”, according to the ONS report.
It warns that alcohol results in 2.5m deaths worldwide each year, with more than 5,000 deaths in England and Wales in each of the last 10 years. Eric Appleby, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: “It’s encouraging to see a decline in the number of alcohol-related deaths but overall thousands of people are still dying because of it.
“We are facing historically high levels of health harms caused by alcohol misuse, with over a million alcohol-related hospital admissions each year; and we’re one of the few European countries where liver disease is on the increase.”