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Liver Diseases

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 30 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) females and (b) males aged (i) under 16, (ii) from 17 to 21, (iii) from 22 to 26 and (iv) over 26 years old were admitted to hospital with alcohol-related liver conditions in each of the last five years. (270216)

The following table provides an estimate of the number of people admitted to hospital with alcoholic liver disease and uses the international classification of diseases (ICD)-I0 codes K70, K73 and K74, which are the codes for liver disease that is wholly or partially attributable to alcohol. Estimates of the number of people are based on an admission/person ratio are not yet available for 2007-08.

Estimate of people admitted to hospital in England with a primary or secondary diagnosis for alcoholic liver disease, by sex (males (M) and females (F)) and age group, between 2002-03 to 2006-07

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

16 or under

0

0

1

0

0

2

2

1

0

0

17 to 21

34

34

32

42

40

38

38

34

39

32

22 to 26

87

52

75

59

69

68

92

73

102

66

Over 26

11,935

6,656

12,840

7,219

13,410

7,510

14,364

7,832

15,307

8,322

Total

12,055

6,742

12,949

7,321

13,519

7,619

14,496

7,939

15,448

8,420

Notes:

Data represent activity in English national health service hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector

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.

The ICD-10 codes used to answer this PQ are K70, K73 and K74, which are the codes for liver disease that is wholly or partially attributable to alcohol. K70 has an attributable fraction of one, K73 and K74 have an overall attributable fraction of 0.73 for males and 0.50 for females.

Number of patients who had an alcohol-related primary or secondary diagnosis

These figures represent the number of patients 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.

Ungrossed data

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

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.

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.

Data quality

HES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) 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.

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.

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.

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 outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.

Assignment of episodes to years

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

Source:

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