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Booze cuts short Sussex lives by a year or more, report shows
Lives are being cut short across Sussex because people are drinking too much.
A report has shown people in some parts of the county are dying more than a year earlier than normal as a result of alcohol.
The report, compiled by the Association of Public Health Observatories, takes a snapshot of the impact alcohol is having in all areas of the county .
It suggests that in Brighton and Hove, an average 12.1 months of life is lost by men due to drink compared to a regional average of 7.6 months while men in Hastings lose around 14.4 months.
The best performing area was Mid Sussex, but even there, men’s lives are being shortened by 5.2 months.
Health bosses in the county say alcohol is a problem affecting people of all ages, and in both deprived areas like Hastings and affluent areas like Horsham or Wealden.
They say that a growing number of people are choosing to drink behind closed doors at home and are often unaware of the damage they are doing to themselves.
A spokesman for NHS Sussex said: “Drinking alcohol over the recommended limits causes health problems, including premature deaths.
“On average there are eight alcohol-specific deaths a year among men in Hastings for example.
“Other deaths that have contributed to the rate are where alcohol might have been a factor, such as cancer.
“NHS Sussex continues to invest in alcohol treatment services like Action for Change and our health promotion services build on national campaigns, particularly to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking more than the national guidelines.
“The NHS recommends that men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day and women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day.
“Regularly means drinking this amount every day or most days of the week.
“We work with GP practices and other health services to make sure staff can advise people where to get help.”
Drug and alcohol action teams around the county ensure the NHS, council, police and other partners help people who drink too much to change drinking patterns so they improve their physical and mental health.
They also work to make night-time social activities safer and help people to drink sensibly.
The report measured the impact of alcohol in two ways: alcohol specific conditions (harms only caused by alcohol such as alcoholic liver disease), and alcohol related conditions (including harms where only a proportion is caused by alcohol, such as some cancers and assaults).
For alcohol related conditions the proportion caused by alcohol is added to the alcohol specific conditions to provide the total alcohol related (or attributable) conditions e.g. numbers of deaths, hospital admissions or crimes.