Alcohol

Summary

Excessive alcohol consumption is England’s second biggest cause of premature mortality behind tobacco use. Regular heavy drinking and binge-drinking behaviours are associated with a whole range of issues including anti-social behaviour, and an increased risk of physical and mental health problems. Long-term alcohol misuse is linked to a range of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic liver disease and diabetes as well as having an impact on the social wellbeing of a person, their family, and friends. Long-term alcohol misuse can lead to social problems such as unemployment, domestic abuse and homelessness.

Key figures for Lancashire-14

The rates below are directly standardised (DSR) and are per 100,000 of the population (all ages unless stated). 

Alcohol-specific conditions

The term 'alcohol-specific conditions' refers to conditions caused wholly by the use of alcohol including alcohol-induced behavioural disorders and alcohol-related liver cirrhosis.

During the 2016/17 period, there were a total of 7,961 alcohol-specific admissions (all ages) recorded across Lancashire-12, giving the area a DSR of 679, significantly above the England national rate of 563. At a district level eight local authority areas record rates significantly above the national average, these are: Burnley (954.0), Hyndburn (934.9), Lancaster (663.1), Pendle (652.6), Preston (789.7), Rossendale (686.8), West Lancashire (611.0) and Wyre (691.3). Ribble Valley (498.7) records a rate significantly below the national rate. Burnley and Hyndburn rank amongst the top 10% of local authorities in England with the highest admission rates.*

Both Blackburn with Darwen (1,069.3) and Blackpool (1,359.2) record alcohol-specific admission rates (all ages) significantly above the national rate and also rank within the top 10% in the country.

Between 2014/15 and 2016/17, there were 367 hospital admission episodes for alcohol-specific conditions involving persons aged 17 and under in Lancashire-12. This gives the area a DSR of 49.8 per 100,000 people, significantly above the national rate of 34.2. At a district level, four areas record rates significantly above the national rate, these being: Burnley (74.4), Fylde (57.6), Lancaster (92.8) and Wyre (67.2). Burnley, Lancaster and Wyre all rank within the top 10% of local authorities in England with the highest admission rates.*

Blackburn with Darwen (40.1) and Blackpool (74.3) both record rates that were significantly above the England rate, with Blackpool also ranking within the top 10% nationally.

The latest three-year (2014-16) alcohol-specific mortality rates show that there were 436 deaths across Lancashire-12, giving the area a DSR of 12.3 (all ages), significantly above the national rate of 10.4. At a district level, Lancaster (15.2), Preston (16.3), South Ribble (15.2) and Wyre (16.4) record rates significantly above England. The figures for Ribble Valley are suppressed as the number of cases are too small to calculate. Additionally, both Preston and Wyre rank within the top 10% of local authorities in England with the highest mortality rates.*

Blackburn with Darwen (13.6) has a rate in line with England's figures, whilst Blackpool (28.6) records the highest rate in the country.

Alcohol-related conditions

Alcohol-related conditions refers to conditions that list alcohol as either a whole or partial risk factor. For example using the alcohol-attributable fractions methodology, it is estimated that that alcohol plays a role in 25-33% of cardiac arrhythmias, making it an alcohol-related condition.

In 2016/17, across Lancashire-12, a total of 7,630 admissions were classed as being due to alcohol-related conditions. This gives the area a DSR of 645 (all ages), significantly above the national average of 636. At a district level Burnley (735.2), Preston (690.2) and Wyre (802.3) all record rates significantly above the national average, and are in the top 10% of local authorities.* Ribble Valley (499.6) and West Lancashire (553.7) record rates significantly below England's rate.

Blackburn with Darwen (799.9) and Blackpool (1,151.1) both record rates significantly above England's, with Blackpool's the highest in the country.

There were 588 alcohol-related deaths recorded across Lancashire-12 in 2016, giving the area a DSR of 49.5 (all ages) similar to England's rate (46.0). All of the Lancashire-12 districts have rates in line with England, although there is some variance between the authority areas. Burnley has a rate of 60.7, placing it within the top 10% authorities for alcohol-related deaths nationally, while Ribble Valley has one of the lowest rates in the country of 35.5.

Both Blackburn with Darwen (59.5) and Blackpool (86.0) record rates significantly above the national average, with Blackpool's rate being the highest in the country.

*Due to reasons including data quality concerns, data disclosure control (small numbers) and mergers with other areas for reporting purposes, not all local authorities are included in the ranking. 

Mortality

An extract of locally held mortality data identified 1,603 deaths that were considered to be wholly attributable to alcohol (alcohol-specific) recorded between 2007 and 2016 in Lancashire-12. Further analysis found:

  • There is an average of 147 alcohol-specific deaths across the Lancashire-12 area each year.
  • 15% (245) of those who died came from Preston, 13% (210) were from Lancaster and 10% (162) from Wyre.
  • 71% (1,131) of deaths occurred among those aged 45-69, with the average age being 55.
  • 65% (1,040) of those that died were male.
  • Over half (58%, 924) of those who died were from the most deprived areas of Lancashire-12 (Index of Multiple Deprivation 2015, quintiles 1 and 2).
  • 74% (1,190) of deaths occurred in a hospital setting.
  • 89% (1,429) were coded under the ICD-10 block Diseases of liver (K70-K77), which refers to diseases such as alcoholic liver disease, alcoholic hepatic failure and alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, highlighting that these deaths are likely to be due to long term excessive alcohol exposure.

For county and unitary data and further information please see below

The Local Alcohol Profiles for England provide local data alongside national comparators to support local health improvement.

Further analysis

Young people's alcohol and tobacco survey 2017 (PDF 1.0 MB)

Health Behaviours JSNA alcohol extract (PDF 449 KB)

Health Behaviours JSNA final report (PDF 1.9 MB)

Page updated February 2018

Further information

Social care support

During 2016/17 Lancashire County Council supported a total of 1,209 service users with an open category of alcohol misuse.

Safer Lancashire

Figures from the Multi-Agency Data Exchange (MADE) show that in 2016/17 there were a total of 7,615 police incidents with a recorded alcohol qualifier, representing a slight 2.9% (231) drop on the previous year's figure (7,846).

Lancashire County Council's Trading Standards take part in a north west wide survey of 14-17-year-olds on the subject of alcohol and tobacco use. Almost 750 respondents from Lancashire completed the online survey (Jan-Mar 2017) and the findings are available in the further analysis section below.