UK & World News
Baby Boomers Said To Be UK's Worst Boozers
Baby boomers are more of a burden on the NHS than young people because of their excessive drinking, a charity has warned.
Alcohol Concern examined the inpatient costs of people aged between 55 and 74, a group closely aligned with the baby boom generation following the end of the Second World War.
The costs to the NHS of this age group were more than 10 times greater than the 16 to 24-year-old group - which is often negatively associated with binge-drinking.
The charity also found baby boomers were responsible for more drink-related A&E costs than the younger generation.
The findings were taken from the charity's Alcohol Harm Map - which it said offered the first complete picture of alcohol-related health costs across England by local authority.
The launch of the map comes six months before local authorities take on responsibility for public health.
It found the cost of alcohol-related inpatient admissions in England for 55 to 74-year-olds was £825.6m compared with £63.8m for 16 to 24-year-olds in 2010/11.
It also found more than eight times as many people from the older group were admitted as inpatients compared with the younger group.
Alcohol Concern chief executive Eric Appleby said: "It is the common perception that young people are responsible for the increasing cost of alcohol misuse, but our findings show that in reality this is not the case.
"It is the middle-aged and often middle class drinker, regularly drinking above recommended limits, who are actually requiring complex and expensive NHS care."
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, a former president of the Royal College of Physicians, agreed.
He said: "It is the unwitting chronic middle-aged drinkers who are taking serious risks with their health.
"They present in hospital with conditions attributable to their alcohol consumption such as stroke, heart disease, cancer and liver disease.
"People simply do not realise that chronic drinking significantly increases their chances of suffering health problems. Indeed it is these people who are costing the NHS the most."