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Rise in deaths linked to alcohol

The number of people in the UK dying from alcohol-related illnesses has increased again, new figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were 13.4 drink-related deaths per 100,000 people in 2006 - a rise on the 12.9 recorded in 2005.

And between 1991 and 2006, the number of deaths actually doubled from 4,144 to 8,758.

But public health minister Dawn Primarolo said: "We are working harder than ever to promote sensible drinking and help prevent people from causing themselves serious or fatal harm from alcohol.

"This spring, for example, we will launch a £10m education campaign, to raise awareness of alcohol content in different drinks and the dangers of too much alcohol.

"We know we're not going to change people's attitudes to alcohol overnight - it's going to take time - but it's reassuring to see that figures, published last week, suggest alcohol consumption is no longer on the rise.

"We are also reviewing alcohol pricing and promotion, have toughened enforcement of underage sales by retailers, and plan to introduce more help for people who want to drink less.

"And the recent Comprehensive Spending Review sets out a new national priority for the NHS to reduce the rate of hospital admissions of alcohol-related conditions as part of the spending review."


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