Alcohol problems account for a quarter of Scottish intensive care unit admissions
A quarter of patients admitted to Scottish intensive care units have alcohol problems and the majority of those have chronic alcohol disease, with particular problems among men and younger people.
Those are key findings of a survey of all 24 Scottish intensive care units, carried out by the Scottish Intensive Care Audit Group and published online early by Anaesthesia, ahead of inclusion in an issue.
"Alcohol disease adversely affects the outcome of critically ill patients and the burden of this in Scotland is higher than elsewhere in the UK" says co-author Dr Timothy Geary, Anaesthetic Registrar at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow.
"Our study of 771 patients admitted to intensive care units in Scotland showed that a quarter of admissions were alcohol related and that nearly three quarters of those affected were male.
"Patients with alcohol problems tended to be significantly younger and admissions from deprived areas of the country were also more likely to be alcohol related. Patients with alcohol problems also needed to be mechanically ventilated for longer. We estimate that, overall, alcohol related admissions cost intensive care units across Scotland £9 million a year."
The World Health Organization suggests that alcohol consumption now accounts for 3.2% of global death rates and 4% of the global ill health. Annual alcohol consumption has grown steadily in the UK, from five litres of pure alcohol per head of population in 1963 to ten litres in 2006.
This rise has been associated with increasing deaths and ill health. Between 1992 and 2008, deaths directly caused by alcohol almost doubled in the UK, from 6.9 to 12.8 per 100,000 people. Death rates in Scotland were particularly high for men during this period, with an average of 63.1 per 100,000 and up to 105 per 100,000 in some parts of the country.
A recent review re-examined the 2003 mortality figures in Scotland and suggested that the values underestimated the number of deaths related to alcohol by half. In 2003 the estimated direct cost to the Scottish National Health Service of alcohol misuse was £96 million. By 2007 this had risen to between £143.6 million and £392.8 million
Key findings of the study include:
- Of the 771 admissions, 83% were unplanned, 25% were alcohol related and 22% of the patients had chronic alcohol disease. A third of the alcohol related admissions were acutely intoxicated at the time of admission.
- Patients admitted with alcohol related problems were significantly younger than those admitted without alcohol problems (51 years versus 63 years).
- 71% of the patients with alcohol-related issues were men, compared with just over 50% of the non alcohol-related patients.
- Patients admitted with alcohol-related problems did not have significantly longer stay or death rates, but they did require a median level of two days' ventilation, compared to one day for patients without alcohol issues.
- When admissions were analysed by levels of multiple deprivation, it was clear that alcohol related admissions were much higher in the most deprived areas and fell steadily as areas became less deprived.
"In Scotland the frequency and volume of alcohol consumed is significantly higher than in the rest of the UK, as is the proportion of people with hazardous drinking habits. This corresponds to higher death rates, particularly for Scottish men, but only indicates a fraction of the deaths attributed to alcohol.
More information: A national service evaluation of the impact of alcohol on admissions to Scottish intensive care units. Geary et al. Anaesthesia. Online early ahead of print publication. (July 2012). doi:10.1111/j.1365-2044.2012.07233.x
Journal reference: Anaesthesia
Provided by Wiley
- Alcohol may be involved in up to 640,000 hospital admissions in England and Wales every year Jun 20, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Scots and Irish at greater risk of drink-related death, study shows Mar 19, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Gender divide in alcohol-related deaths persists Feb 23, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Are frontline nurses prepared for alcohol-related cases? Jun 06, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Scotland sets minimum alcohol price May 14, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 7 hours ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
23 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Patients with diabetes who are depressed are much more likely to develop episodes of dangerously low blood sugars, or hypoglycemia, than are those who are not depressed, a new study has ...
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |