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Alcohol-related deaths are connected with ethnic divides

In the UK, alcohol-related deaths have doubled between 1991 and 2006, especially in Scotland with nearly 1,500 deaths each year. Research has shown that liver disease, liver cirrhosis, accidents and suicides are the most common causes of death associated with extensive alcohol consumption in Scotland.

A study carried out by the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford, with the cooperation of NHS Information Service Division, aimed to determine the most affected ethnic groups on Scottish territory.

Researchers have shown that native Scots are twice as likely to die from alcohol consumption compared to the English or Welsh. Similarily, men and women who are living in Scotland but were born in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, are also more twice more likely. The same is true for Indians born in Scotland. Pakistani men, living in Scotland, have 72% less alcohol-related deaths then natives.

Raj Bhopal, Professor of Public Health at University of Edinburgh, said ‘If we can better understand which ethnic groups have greater susceptibility then we can target alcohol prevention strategies where they are needed.’

The study is published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

Aldona Kutkowska

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