338,000 admitted to hospital as a result of alcohol in 2017/18

6th February 2020
trauma centre

There were 338,000 admissions to hospital in 2017/18 where the main cause was due to drinking alcohol, according to new figures published today.


There were 338,000 admissions to hospital in 2017/18 where the main cause was due to drinking alcohol, according to new figures published today.

The figures, which have been published as part of Statistics on Alcohol, England 2019 reveal that this was similar to 2016/171 and 15% higher than a decade ago. Alcohol related admissions still account for a similar percentage of overall hospital admissions (2.1% in 2017/18, 2.1% in 2016/17 and 2.3% in 2007/08).

This is based on the narrow measure2 where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for a hospital admission or there was an alcohol-related external cause. A broader measure that looks at a range of other conditions that could be caused by alcohol shows 1.2 million admissions in 2017/18 although due to improvements in coding this is less comparable through time.

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People aged 45 or over accounted for 69% of admissions where the main cause was due to alcohol.

Other statistics included in the report show:

  • There were 5,800 alcohol-specific deaths3 in 2017, which was 6% higher than 2016 and an increase of 16% on 2007.
  • Alcoholic liver disease accounted for 80% of the alcohol specific deaths in 20174.
  • 21% of people aged 16 and over drank more than 14 units of alcohol a week5 in 2017.
  • Adults in higher income households were more likely to drink over 14 units in a usual week (27%) than those in lower income households (15%) in 2017.
  • However, alcohol specific death rates were highest in the most deprived areas (30.1 deaths per 100,000 people for men and 13.5 for women), and lowest in the least deprived areas (7.0 deaths per 100,000 people for men and 4.0 for women).
  • Girls (11%) aged 11 to 15 were more likely to have been drunk in the last four weeks than boys (7%) in 20166.
  • 76,000 people were treated for problematic drinking in 2017/18, this was 6% lower than in 2016/177.

Newly published data in this compendium comes from the Public Health England Local Area Profiles for England, which uses data from NHS Digital’s Hospital Episode Statistics.