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Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of males (a) between (i) 10 and 16, (ii) 17 and 21 and (iii) 22 and 26 and (b) over 26 years who have been admitted to hospital for alcohol-related conditions in each of the last five years. (269090)

Data on the number of individual boys and young men hospitalised for alcohol-related conditions and not available, however data on the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions for boys and young men are available and are given in the following table. It is important to note that:

an individual may account for more than one admission;

the data given are for alcohol-related hospital admissions only, as data are not available centrally from which alcohol-related attendances in accident and emergency (A&E) departments can be identified; and

most attendances at A&E will not result in admission to hospital.

Finished alcohol-related admissions of males aged 10 or over, 2003-04 to 2007-08







10 to 16






17 to 21






22 to 26






Over 26







1. Includes activity in English national health service hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector.

2. Alcohol-related admissions:

The number of alcohol-related admissions is based on the methodology developed by the North West Public Health Observatory (NWPHO). Following international best practice, the NWPHO methodology includes a wide range of diseases and injuries in which alcohol plays a part and estimates the proportion of cases that are attributable to the consumption of alcohol. Details of the conditions and associated proportions can be found in the report Jones et al. (2008) Alcohol-attributable fractions for England: Alcohol-attributable mortality and hospital admissions.

Figures for under 16s only include admissions where one or more alcohol-specific conditions were listed. This is because the research on which the attributable fractions are based does not cover under 16s. Alcohol-specific conditions are those that are wholly attributed to alcohol—that is, those with an attributable fraction of one. They are:

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (142.6)

Alcoholic gastritis (K29.2)

Alcoholic myopathy (G72.1)

Alcoholic polyneuropathy (G62.1)

Alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome (E24.4)

Degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol (G31.2)

Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol (F10)

Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol (X45)

Ethanol poisoning (T51.0)

Methanol poisoning (T51.1)

Toxic effect of alcohol, unspecified (T51.9)

3. Number of episodes in which the patient had an alcohol-related primary or secondary diagnosis:

These figures represent the number of episodes where an alcohol-related diagnosis was recorded in any of the 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) primary and secondary diagnosis fields in a Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) record. Each episode is only counted once in each count, even if an alcohol-related diagnosis is recorded in more than one diagnosis field of the record.

4. Ungrossed data:

Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).

5. Finished admission episodes:

A finished admission episode is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. Finished admission episodes are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.

6. Primary diagnosis:

The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the HES data set and provides the main reason why the patient was admitted to hospital.

7. Secondary diagnosis:

As well as the primary diagnosis, there are up to 19 (13 from 2002-03 to 2007-08 and six prior to 2002-03) secondary diagnosis fields in HES that show other diagnoses relevant to the episode of care.

8. Data quality:

HES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.

9. Assessing growth through time:

HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. The quality and coverage of the data have improved over time. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series.

10. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity.

11. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in out-patient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.

12. Assignment of Episodes to Years:

Years are assigned by the end of the first period of care in a patient’s hospital stay.


Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for health and social care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many finished accident and emergency admission episodes there were in each NHS trust where the primary or secondary diagnosis was alcohol-related and the (a) male and (b) female patient was aged (i) under 10, (ii) between 11 and 15, (iii) between 16 and 18, (iv) between 19 and 25, (v) between 26 and 35 and (vi) 36 years and over in each of the last five years. (269773)

The information requested is not collected centrally in relation to attendances in accident and emergency departments.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) men and (b) women in each age group have been admitted to hospital for stomach pumping procedures as a result of alcohol poisoning in each month of the last three years. (269788)

There were zero admissions to hospital for stomach pumping procedures in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08. This is most likely due to the fact that stomach pumping usually takes place in accident and emergency departments, without the need for the patient to be admitted to hospital. Data on stomach pumping procedures in accident and emergency departments are not collected centrally.