Wales

Heavy drinking 'still major problem' for Wales

Woman drinking glass of wine Image copyright PA
Image caption Progress is being made in cutting drinking by adults under 45, the report says

Heavy drinking remains a major problem stretching health services in Wales, a new report has warned.

Alcohol is responsible for around one-in-20 of all deaths in Wales - 29 a week - says Public Health Wales.

Higher proportions of children in Wales aged 11 to 16 were drinking alcohol than in England or Scotland.

The report said progress was being made, with heavy drinking falling among adults under 45, but it could be on the increase among older people.

Although alcohol consumption in Wales had fallen slightly since 2008, the report Alcohol and Health in Wales warned that Welsh hospitals were still handling 1,000 alcohol-related admissions every week.

Increasing risks

Prof Mark Bellis at Public Health Wales said: "We need to help people make the right choices about their own drinking.

"Too many drinkers fail to recognise how even moderate drinking can increase their risks of developing diseases such as cancer.

"The normalisation of drinking at a young age is also especially harmful and our problems with alcohol must be tackled early in life," he added.

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Media captionPublic health consultant Linda Bailey says advertising 'normalises' alcohol

Andrea Gartner, project lead for the report, added: "This new report provides a comprehensive analysis of alcohol consumption patterns and the impact of alcohol on health.

"It will provide stakeholders with the necessary information to inform action and drive change."

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