Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shock Liver Disease Rise; Nurses' Leader Makes Call for Stricter Rules

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shock Liver Disease Rise; Nurses' Leader Makes Call for Stricter Rules

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae

ANURSES' leader has insisted that "robust regulation" is needed for the sale of alcohol after new figures showed that liver disease among those in their 30s has increased by more than 400% in the region.

As reported yesterday in The Journal, research carried out by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, revealed that hospitals in the area recorded 189 hospital admissions for 30 to 34-year-olds with the disease last year, compared to just 37 in 2002.

Liver experts have warned that the illness has reached "epidemic levels" and many have backed a call to the Government to introduce new curbs on alcohol advertising to protect young people.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said he was shocked at the results and urged for more to be done to halt the problem.

He said: "These figures are simply scandalous and provide cold, hard evidence of the shocking number of people in this country suffering as a result of excessive drinking.

"The Government can no longer afford to simply 'nudge' people when it comes to tackling this major public health issue, they must step in and take control of the situation.

"Robust regulation on the sale of alcohol, along with sensible minimum pricing, is desperately needed in order to meaningfully reduce the health damage caused by harmful drinking.

"If the Government is serious about repairing the nation's disastrous relationship with alcohol, these regulatory measures must be combined with widespread campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of excessive drinking."

The research by Balance showed that in total there were 778 admissions for 30 to 34-year-olds with alcohol liver disease between 2002 and 2010, costing the NHS an estimated pounds 1.8m. Disturbingly there were a further 482 admissions for under 30s, with some people admitted even being under the age of 20. …

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