Drink related deaths up for women in town

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MORE women than average are dying from alcohol-related illnesses in Eastbourne.

According to research by the North West Public Health Observatory, women in Eastbourne need to cut down on the amount they are drinking.

The research shows 17.3 Eastbourne women in every 100,000 have died from an alcohol-related illness. This puts the town above the national average of 14.9 and above the south east average of 13.

The North West Public Health Observatory carried out its research on all 326 local authorities in the country and Eastbourne was ranked at 243 down the list for female deaths attributed to alcohol.

The town came out worse than neighbouring district Wealden, which had 11.6 per 100,000 women dying as a result of alcohol-related illnesses. Rother had 11.2 and Lewes 12.8, but Hastings came out worse than Eastbourne with a figure of 19.

Jane Thomas, consultant in public health, said, “Women – and men – who drink more than the safe limits over a sustained period of time are putting themselves at risk of alcohol-related harm and even death. The number of deaths from chronic liver disease continues to rise steadily. These deaths increased by around eight per cent in both women and men between 2003-05 and 2007-09.

“In Eastbourne, while the numbers of women’s deaths due to alcohol is of concern, men are more than twice as likely to die from the same cause.

“It is widely recognised that one of the reasons more people are drinking more is the price of alcohol relative to people’s incomes. While the cost of alcohol-related harm to the NHS, policing, and social support has risen, the cost of alcohol relative to incomes has reduced.

“NHS Sussex continues to invest in alcohol services like Action for Change and our health promotion services build on national campaigns, particularly to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking more than the national guidelines.

“We also work with GP practices and other health services to make sure staff can advise people where to get help. Also, in East Sussex the multi-agency alcohol harm reduction group is leading the strategy to reduce alcohol problems in local communities; the group includes representatives of health, local authorities, the police and the voluntary sector.”

The NHS recommends that women should not regularly drink more than two-three units a day and men should not regularly drink more than three-four units of alcohol a day. Regularly means drinking this amount every day or most days of the week.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/units or call 24-hour alcohol helpline Drinkline on 0800 9178282. People wanting help for an alcohol problem can also contact Action for Change on 0300 111 2470 or visit www.action-for-change.org.