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Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) male and (b) female binge drinkers, according to the definition of binge drinking used in the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, there were in each year since 2004. (186172)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) general household survey provides an estimate of the percentage of men and women who drank more than twice the daily recommendations (three to four units per day for men, two to three units per day for women) on at least one day in the previous week, a measure of binge drinking.

On the method for estimating consumption formerly used by the ONS, in 2004, 22 per cent. of men and 9 per cent. of women drank more than twice the daily recommendations on at least one day in the previous week.

In 2005, 19 per cent. of men and 8 per cent. of women drank more than twice the daily recommendations. For 2006, this figure was 18 per cent. of men and 8 per cent. of women.

In December 2007, the ONS described improvements in the ONS method for estimating alcohol consumption. The improved method takes account of increases in the alcoholic strength of wine, the sizes of glass used and uses better estimates of the alcoholic strength of beers, lagers and ciders.

Using the improved methodology, in both 2005 and 2006, 23 per cent. of men and 15 per cent. of women drank more than twice the daily recommendations on at least one day in the previous week. The figures for 2004 have not been recalculated according to the new methodology.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many alcohol-related categories are in use for assessing accident and emergency admissions. (187479)

The individual diagnosis codes currently used by the Information Centre for health and social care to define ‘alcohol related conditions’ for hospital admissions are:

F10 Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol

K70 Alcoholic liver disease

T51 Toxic effect of alcohol

Of these, the categories used by the Information Centre for health and social care to define ‘admissions to hospital via accident and emergency’ (A and E) are:

21 = Emergency: via A and E services, including the casualty department of the provider

28 = Emergency: other means, including patients who arrive via the A and E department of another health care provider

Notes:

The Information Centre for health and social care cannot provide data on A and E attendances and when data is provided for ‘admissions to hospital via A and E’ it is explicitly for in-patient admissions to hospital when they are admitted from category 21 and category 28.