Booze Kills

Alcohol-related deaths among women are at their highest ever level, new figures have revealed.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that last year there were 8 female deaths from alcohol for every 100,000 people in the UK – the greatest number since records began in 2001. This was being driven by an overall rise in alcohol deaths among 55 to 74-year-olds in recent years.

Super. Now correct for demographic change, for the fat that the portion of the population which is 55 to 74 year old females has risen.

Our result is?

That is, has the rate among 55 to 74 year old females risen, thereby skewing the population rates, or has the rate among that subset risen thereby doing so?

23 thoughts on “Booze Kills”

  1. BiS, it’s even odder than that – presumably 50,000 out of every 100,000 people are male. Plus it’s stated as deaths per total population, not deaths from alcohol as a percentage of deaths, and as always with no actual report of the rise, just that something has risen. Pretty much uninterpretable, and so, meaningless.

  2. By what criteria are they judging a death to be alcohol related? Does a pedestrian that was killed by a drunk driver qualify? The kind of people charged with coming up with the numbers to tend to find ways to cheat by including people who were carrying a pack of beer when a piano fell on them and that kind of thing.

  3. And as fewer people are dying from other stuff which in the past would have killed them, they are dying instead of something which they enjoy – what’s not to like?

  4. Bis, as it’s population data it is 100% accurate. No statistics involved.

    Though the assessment of causes of death is always tricky.

  5. @Stoneyground: The only note I could find in any of the online news was at the Metro:

    “The ONS statistics define alcohol-specific deaths as ‘only those health conditions where each death is a direct consequence of alcohol misuse’. They do not include partially-attributable deaths, such as cancers which are strongly linked to high alcohol consumption. This means the number of alcohol-related deaths could be much higher.”

  6. If booze doesn’t kill you then invariably something else will. More important is the question of whether booze leads to ill health in later life, that such misbehaviour costs the taxpayer a great deal of money for medical treatment. A contrary argument is that drinkers will have paid for their pleasure through the amount of VAT and Excise Tax contributed to HMRC.

  7. When the menopause catches up with today’s self-entitled third generation unliveable-with harridans we can expect those numbers to sky-rocket as they bewail their loveless existences and put a saucer of gin down for the cat.

  8. “the greatest number since records began in 2001”

    I am struck by this

    Are there really no records of alcohol related deaths before 2001?


  9. “Are there really no records of alcohol related deaths before 2001?”

    Dude, there aren’t any now, either. This stuff is make believe.

    Physicians/coroners put down the cause of death on a death certificate. There’s no check box for ‘Was this alcohol related?’

  10. JuliaM: how can a death be a direct consequence of alcohol misuse? That statement doesn’t make any sense. A direct consequence is when the rock that fell on your head kills you, when you die of the bullet that hit your chest or when you die of an illness. I’m not saying that alcohol misuse is not dangerous the deaths from it can only, almost by definition be indirect consequences.

  11. Differentiating cirrhosis from alcohol from end stage development from fatty liver is impossible. Doctors routinely don’t believe what any patient says about their drinking habits. Widespread obesity is a new problem and cirrhosis takes time to develop from whatever cause. I think the jury is out.

  12. @ Emil
    Someone died of a heart-attack after drinking a “Sconce” of Gin. Thereafter the college changed the rules so that sconces may only be beer (and most other colleges followed suit, to the disadvantage of cider-drinkers).
    In the modern-day lower-class youngsters choke on their own vomit after getting so drunk that their stomach rebels.
    One in the first example, a handful in the second.

  13. Give away word, ‘related’ = no causal evidence.

    Admissions into A&E are given points according to whether the injury could be, not is, the sort of injury that might be due to alcohol consumption. For example, head injury, scalds, falling down the stairs, tripping over the cat, etc.

    The points are totted up to give the number of ‘alcohol related’ admissions per period. Tea-totallers are therefore included.

    It is all to drive the concern about alcohol consumption.

    I expect the same device is used to determine alcohol ‘related’ deaths. Few death certificates will give alcohol as cause of death, but many may be causes that ‘could’ be related to alcohol consumption – liver disease, for example.

    In the hands of the bureaucrat ‘statistic’ is the alternative spelling of ‘lies’.

  14. “Bis, as it’s population data it is 100% accurate. No statistics involved.”

    On the contrary – it’s just the sort of thing “statistics'” originally referred to. You presumably mean that no statistical estimation was involved. Lots of fiction was though, in all likelihood.

  15. “The ONS statistics define alcohol-specific deaths as ‘only those health conditions where each death is a direct consequence of alcohol misuse’.”

    Really we need (at least) two different categories. One for the people who die from buggering their livers or stomachs by drinking too much, and their like, and a second for those who are beaten to death by drunken lovers, are run down by drunk drivers, fall off their bikes in a stupor of intoxication, and so on.

    Then we need people to gather the statistics whom we trust not to run a Project Fear; instead they should show good judgement and propriety. But such people no longer work for governments, it would seem, so we reach an impasse.

  16. @ dearieme
    I agree that we need two different categories: for those who die earlier because the drink “to much” and thjose who aredirectly killed through *someone’s* consumption of alcohol.
    I disagree with your last paragraph – a lot of honest people work for ONS, but the media chooses not to report most of wht they say.

  17. “a lot of honest people work for ONS”: oh well, that puts them one up on the Treasury and the Bank of England, then.

    But are there efforts honestly used by their masters?

  18. @Jack the dog, December 5, 2018 at 9:01 am


    Tipsy 72 year old mother of four who survived multiple tooth abscesses, cesarions and breast cancer dies after falling on an icy hill walking home from pub.

  19. Bloke in Germany said:
    “Bis, as it’s population data it is 100% accurate. No statistics involved.”

    I don’t think that’s correct, as alcohol isn’t usually a recorded cause of death.

    Last time I looked, it was calculated by estimating that X% of heart failure (for example) was caused by booze, so they took the number of deaths for each cause and multiplied it by the estimated alcohol effect for that cause. Far from being 100% accurate, it was entirely estimated.

  20. If that’s the way they’ve done it then, yes, it’s total BS. The message should be this is a very small problem.

  21. These particular stats are low. 8,000 or so for the country a year. This is stuff that really is booze – exploding livers, alcoholic poisoning, etc. ONS provides their definition. It is not, not, apportionment of 20% of all heart deaths etc.

    To show that NS has some honest people, they have their definition of what they’re counting in about para 2, para 3, of the doc. Unlike everyone else where the manipulation is in the footnotes.

  22. I think the correct response to this is ‘and so what?’, as several commentators have responded. The stat passes the sniff test. If it was cooked up by the temperance bullshitters it would be more like 80%.

    It’s the premise that needs to be challenged here. Not the stat. Too many people here are unnecessarily having the wrong argument.

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