Daily Archives: 08/12/2014

Alcohol, health inequalities and the harm paradox

From Alcohol Policy UK:

A new report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) calls for action to address health inequalities as a key issue for alcohol policy.

Download ‘Alcohol, health inequalities and the harm paradox’ [pdf], the summary report [pdf] or an audio podcast featuring Sir Michael Marmot.

The report suggests alcohol may be a contributing factor for almost 50% of the indicators within the Public Health Outcomes Framework for England. As such addressing alcohol-related harm could be a key route to improving public health and reducing general health inequalities.

So to remind you here are the Public Health Outcomes Framework indicators.  If alcohol is a contributing factor for 50% of these that is a STAGGERING statistic and confounds further the apparent denial of a problem around booze in this country.  If you could slash your public health & NHS treatment bill in half by tackling one issue head-on you would right?  To not do so isn’t just ignorant, it is plain stupidity.  And yet that is where we are ……… <speechless>

Public Health England

The research suggests that multiple factors may explain why the worst health problems – such as obesity, social disorder and mortality rates – occur among the most deprived socio-economic groups, and that alcohol’s interaction with other unhealthy behaviours is known to compound these health problems. For example, studies have discovered a “supra-additive interaction” between obesity and alcohol consumption. A combination of smoking and drinking also significantly accelerates the risk of cancer, with tobacco and alcohol-related cancers 2 to 3 times more common in areas with the highest deprivation versus the lowest.

I don’t know what it says about our govt that they allow this to continue unresolved.  My knee jerk response is to say it’s a class thing but we don’t have a class problem in this country do we? <sarc>

What do you think?