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Booze 'kills a Scot every three hours' Report claims drink deaths nearly twice as bad as feared.

Byline: Magnus Gardham

BOOZE could be killing a Scot every three hours, says alarming new research.

The estimates from the NHS suggest the death toll from alcohol is nearly twice as high as previously thought.

A Scottish government study claimed 2882 Scots - equivalent to one every three hours - died from alcohol-related illness or injury in 2003.

Official figures for the same year, based on deaths caused entirely by alcohol, showed 1525 people died from booze.

And it's estimated drink costs the economy an astonishing pounds 2.25billion a year.

The health service, police, courts and private firms losing staff to hangovers pick up the tab.

Younger people may also pay a heavy price for Scotland's bevvy culture.

The report estimated that more than a quarter of deaths in men aged between 35 and 44 were because of drink. And for women the same age, it was a fifth of deaths . The report also reckoned more than 41,000 people spent time in hospital because of alcohol.

The research looked at 53 causes of death in which alcohol can play a part, including diseases, accidents at home, assaults and road crashes.

The Scottish government claim the figures show the need to press ahead with controversial plans to set a minimum price for alcohol.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "Drinking alcohol is part of Scottish culture, but it's clear many people are drinking too much and damaging their health."

Scots Labour health spokeswoman Cathy Jamieson added: "I am genuinely shocked by these figures."

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DANGER: Drinking
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Report
Date:Jul 1, 2009
Words:255
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