Indian men living in UK and Wales at greater risk of drink-related death

March 20th, 2009 - 4:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 20 (ANI): Men born in India, but living in England and Wales, are twice as likely to die alcohol-related deaths as the rest of the population, according to a new study led by an Indian-origin scientist.

Conducted by the University of Edinburgh and the Office for National Statistics, the research also found that an equal number of alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales were reported among people born in Scotland or Ireland.

The findings also showed that people born in parts of Asia or Africa were at greater risk of dying from liver cancer, but generally had lower rates of alcohol-related deaths.

On reason for the higher rate of death from liver cancer could be because viral hepatitis is more common in ethnic minority communities.

For the study, the researchers used information on deaths for England and Wales from 1999 to 2003 and figures from the 2001 census to quantify the link between a person’’s country of birth and the likelihood of dying from an alcohol-related condition.

The difference in alcohol-related deaths rates could be explained by cultural differences in rates of alcohol consumption.

For example, adults who are Scottish or Irish have been shown on average to drink more than the recommended limit of alcohol.

The study comes in line with recent reports that alcohol-related hospital admissions in the over 65s are rising.

“Deaths from alcohol-related conditions, liver disease and liver cancer are increasing in the UK, but little is known about the role of ethnicity or country of birth. Some ethnic groups appear to be setting an example for the population as a whole with very low rates of liver disease, almost certainly as a result of low alcohol consumption, said Dr Neeraj Bhala, who led the study.

He added: “These findings show significant differences in death rates by country of birth for both alcohol-related deaths and liver cancer. We now need to focus on developing new policy, research and practical action to help address these differences.”

The study has been published in the Journal of Public Health. (ANI)

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