Twice as many baby-boomer men admitted to hospital for alcohol-related issues than millennials

Joanna Whitehead
According to the figures, men comprised 70 per cent of hospital admissions over the past year: istock

Twice as many baby-boomer men are being admitted to hospitals for alcohol-related conditions as millennials.

New statistics shared by the Information Services Division Scotland (part of NHS Scotland) for the year 2018/19 reveal that there were 1,625 admissions per 100,000 men aged 55 to 64.

This is compared with around half that amount for millennial men aged between 25 and 34.

Reasons for admission included acute intoxication, long-term alcohol dependence and liver disease.

Male “boomers” – the name for those born roughly between 1946 and 1964 – are the group most likely to exceed the government’s recommendation of 14 units per week.

The figures show that people living in the most deprived areas were six times more likely to be admitted to hospital for an alcohol-related issue, with Scotland’s heaviest drinkers tending to consume it at home.

Men are also two and half times more likely than women to be admitted to hospital for alcohol-related conditions (971 per 100,000 population compared to 377), with men comprising 70 per cent of hospital admissions over the past year.

Of those women, the age group with the highest rate of alcohol-related admissions was between 45 and 54 years old.

The conditions most commonly recorded for alcohol-related hospital admissions fell within the category of ‘mental and behavioural disorders due to the use of alcohol’.

This includes acute intoxication, harmful use of alcohol and also includes conditions associated with longer term alcohol misuse, such as alcohol dependency and withdrawal.

This isn’t the first time millennials have been shown to consume lower levels of alcohol than other age groups.

A 2017 report revealed the average millennial consumes just five units of alcohol a week, which equates to about two small glasses of wine or two pints of beer.

While 70 per cent of millennials polled were more likely to brag about how long it’s been since they last drank alcohol than how much they last drank, with only one in ten finding getting drunk “cool”, instead perceiving it to be “pathetic”, “embarrassing” or even “belonging to an older generation”.

And, data from this year’s Crime Survey showed that people over the age of 50 were more likely to drink and drive than millennials.

Jennifer Walters, a spokesperson for Drinkaware, told The Independent: “From our own research, we know that older men in the UK are more likely to drink more alcohol, and drink it more often.

“Older men are also disproportionately represented in a group we have identified as ‘high risk’. They make up 70 percent of this group, meaning that literally millions of men are at risk of damaging their health in the long-term unless they cut down.

“Drinkaware is clear with our advice to help keep your risk of health harms low. When drinking, keep track and stay within the Chief Medical Officers’ low risk drinking guidelines, which recommend drinking not more than 14 units of alcohol per week, spread over three or more days.”

And Andrew Misell, director of Alcohol Change UK in Wales, agreed: “These figures reflect the reality that thousands of older drinkers are being hospitalised every year as a result of years of heavy drinking, and many are dying.

"Their drinking habits might not be the kind we associate with ‘alcohol problems’; it might mean having half a bottle of wine or more each evening with your partner, or working a few beers each day into your routine. It’s vital that we all keep track of our drinking as it can creep up on us, and even seem normal among our friendship group."

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