MORE than twice as many men died from “alcohol-specific deaths” than women in the South East last year, new data shows.

But the overall number of deaths fell from the year before after rising significantly for three years previously.

Alcohol-specific deaths are those in which the death is “a direct consequence of alcohol misuse”.

In 2018, 521 men died compared with 248 women.

This total of 769 meant the region had the second highest number of deaths, with only the North West having more.

There were 561 in London in the same period.

But this was the first time the figure had fallen in the South East, year on year, since 2015.

In that year it dropped to 679, before climbing to an all-time high of 839 in 2017.

The figures come from a study released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics.

The office said it had seen “significant increases since 2001 in the rate of alcohol-specific deaths in people aged 55 to 79 years”.

It said: “The increased rates in the older age groups may be a consequence of misuse of alcohol that began years, or even decades, earlier.

“There were no deaths caused by alcoholic liver disease in the age group 20 years or under in 2018, while up to 80 per cent of alcohol-specific deaths in those aged those aged 60 to 64 years died from this condition.”