The General Household Survey (GHS) and the General Lifestyle Survey (GLF) have, between them, been measuring drinking behaviour for over 30 years. This chapter presents information on recent trends over time in drinking behaviour and detailed data for the 2011 survey year.
The Department of Health estimates that the harmful use of alcohol costs the National Health Service around £2.7bn a year and 7% of all hospital admissions are alcohol related. Drinking can lead to over 40 medical conditions, including cancer, stroke, hypertension, liver disease and heart disease. Reducing the harm caused by alcohol is therefore a priority for the Government and the devolved administrations. Excessive consumption of alcohol is a major preventable cause of premature mortality with alcohol-related deaths accounting for almost 1.5% of all deaths in England and Wales in 2011. The GHS/GLF is an important source for monitoring trends in alcohol consumption.
The GHS/GLF drinking data are widely used by universities and health organisations. The School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield has used GHS/GLF data to carry out alcohol-related public health research. The Public Health Observatories (PHOs) also use GLF data on drinking to produce model-based estimates of alcohol consumption at local authority level to inform local decision making.
The survey is one of the main sources for GB statistics on health determinants and is therefore often used for international comparison. For example, GHS/GLF drinking data were used in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Health at a Glance publication. This publication looks at the factors that affect the health of EU populations and the performance of health systems in these countries. > > > > Read More
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