Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

Many of you will no doubt seen headlines today proclaiming Britain as one of the unhealthiest developed countries in the world with lower life expectancy than many of those countries. As you would expect, alcohol was identified as one of the problems.

I spent some time examining the report and discovered some interesting facts. There is no denying that liver disease has become more prevalent in the UK over the last 20 years and that certain sections of society do not treat alcohol with the respect that it demands. However, looking at the statistics the UK now ranks 11th of the 19 countries surveyed for deaths from cirrhosis of the liver. Despite Belgium's multitude of extra-strong beers their level of cirrhosis is lower than the UK. We have less deaths than France, Germany or USA. The level of deaths in the UK is statistically indistinguishable from the mean for all the countries.

While I don't deny that there is a problem with some people binge drinking in the UK, to say that the problem is unique to the UK is wide of the mark. That won't stop the health lobby making life difficult for the vast majority who drink responsibly

1 comment:

  1. Another thing I noticed was that the report also said that UK's life expectancy had increased by about 4 years. This means we haven't slipped down anything; only that our health improvements have been slightly slower than other countries. But improvements there have undoubtedly been.