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Drinking and Cirrhosis of the Liver

8 January 2006 at 02:45 | 1385 views

The death toll from cirrhosis of the liver among men in Scotland more than doubled between the periods of 1987-1991 and 1997-2001. In England and Wales, the mortality rate increased by more than two-thirds.

British pub patrons.
The mortality rate among women increased by 46 per cent in Scotland and 44 per cent in England and Wales.

Excessive drinking kills 22,000 Britons each year.

"These relative increases are the steepest in western Europe, and contrast with the declines apparent in most other countries examined, particularly those of southern Europe," the researchers wrote in the Jan. 7 issue of the medical journal The Lancet.

In November 2005, the British government eased it laws allowing pubs and bars to stay open around the clock.

"Current alcohol policies in Britain should be assessed by the extent to which they can successfully halt the adverse trends in liver cirrhosis mortality," the researchers concluded.

Dr. Jim McCambridge, King’s College London.
The British government has "turned a determined blind eye to the problem," added Robin Room of Stockholm University in Sweden in a commentary that accompanied the study.

The increase in cirrhosis is not necessarily related to beer drinkers in city pubs, said study co-author Dr. Jim McCambridge of King’s College London.

"It’s not typically associated with those city centre disorders but maybe with wine drinkers who don’t realize what can happen," said McCambridge.