18 February 2011
New research from the World Health Organization (WHO) has shown that Britain appears to have a drink problem.
A new report from the international health body shows that alcohol consumption in the UK is higher than the European average and that one in 15 men in the UK can be classed as alcoholics.
What's more, the damaging effects of alcohol are taking their toll on hospital wards, with a dramatic rise in liver cirrhosis being recorded between 2000 and 2005.
In terms of pure alcohol, consumption per person stands at 13.4 litres a year in the UK - compared to 12.2 litres on the continent.
Beer accounts for the majority of alcohol consumed in the UK, followed by wine and then spirits.
The WHO said the figures were alarming and that alcohol contributes to 2.5 million deaths each year.
It estimates that 320,000 people aged between 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes - which amounts to nine per cent of deaths in that age group.
1 "Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2011". World Health Organization. February 2011.
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