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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2012

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Clinical Commissioning Groups, Ambulance Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Regions
Date Range:
01 Apr 2011 to 31 Mar 2012


This statistical report acts as a reference point for health issues relating to alcohol use and misuse, providing information obtained from a number of sources in a user-friendly format. It covers topics such as drinking habits and behaviours among adults (aged 16 and over) and school children (aged 11 to 15), drinking-related ill health and mortality, affordability of alcohol, alcohol related admissions to hospital and alcohol-related costs. The report contains previously published information and also includes additional new analyses.

The new analyses are mainly obtained from the Health and Social Care Information Centre's (HSCIC) Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) system, and Prescribing data. The report also include up to date information on the latest alcohol related government policies and targets and contains links to further sources of useful information.

How alcohol-related admissions are calculated:

Estimates of the number of alcohol-related admissions to hospital are calculated using a method developed by the North West Public Health Observatory (NWPHO) which takes information on patients' characteristics and diagnoses from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), together with estimates for the proportion of cases of a particular disease or injury that are caused by alcohol consumption (known as alcohol-attributable fractions (AAFs)).

Within this publication, two main measures are presented:

  • a broad measure, which is derived by summing the alcohol attributable fraction associated with each admission based on the diagnosis most strongly associated with alcohol out of all diagnoses (both primary and secondary)
  • a narrow measure, which is constructed in a similar way but counts only the fraction associated with the diagnosis in the primary position.


  • In 2010/11 there were 198,900 admissions where the primary diagnosis was attributable to the consumption of alcohol (the narrow measure). This is a 2.1 per cent increase since 2009/10 when there were 194,800 admissions of this type and a 40 per cent increase since 2002/03 when there were around 142,000 such admissions.
  • In 2010/11, there were 1,168,300 alcohol related admissions to hospital based on the broad measure (primary and secondary diagnoses). This is an increase of 11 per cent on the 2009/10 figure (1,056,900) and more than twice as many as in 2002/03 (510,700). Comparisons over time in the broad measure are complicated by changes in recording practices over the period. In order to estimate the trend once changes in recording practices are accounted for, a method to adjust the national figures has been devised which is presented in Appendix G of the report. Adjusted figures show a 49 per cent increase from an estimated 783,300 in 2002/03 but a 3 per cent decrease from 1,208,100 in 2009/10.
  • There has been a long-term downward trend in the proportion of adults who reported drinking in the week prior to interview. In 1998 75 per cent of men and 59 per cent of women drank in the week prior to interview compared to 68 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women in 2010.
  • 13 per cent of secondary school pupils aged 11 to 15 reported drinking alcohol in the week prior to interview in 2010 compared with 18 per cent of pupils in 2009 and 26 per cent in 2001.
  • There has been a fall in recent years in the proportion of pupils who think that drinking is acceptable for someone of their age. In 2010 32 per cent thought it was okay for someone of their age to drink once a week compared to 46 per cent in 2003. Similarly 11 per cent of pupils thought that it was OK for someone of their age to get drunk once a week compared to 20 per cent who thought that in 2003.
  • In 2011, there were 167,764 prescription items for drugs for the treatment of alcohol dependency prescribed in primary care settings or NHS hospitals and dispensed in the community. This is an increase of 4.7 per cent on the 2010 figure (160,181) and an increase of 63 per cent on the 2003 figure (102,741).
  • The Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) of these prescription items was £2.49 million in 2011. This is an increase of 3.3 per cent on the 2010 figure (£2.41 million) and an increase of 45 per cent on the 2003 figure (£1.72 million).


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Last edited: 16 May 2018 11:46 am