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Clin Med (Lond). 2014 Aug;14(4):396-403. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.14-4-396.

Impact of minimum price per unit of alcohol on patients with liver disease in the UK.

Author information

1
Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK sheron@soton.ac.uk.
2
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

Abstract

The slow epidemic of liver disease in the UK over the past 30 years is a result of increased consumption of strong cheap alcohol. When we examined alcohol consumption in 404 subjects with a range of liver disease, we confirmed that patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis drank huge amounts of cheap alcohol, with a mean weekly consumption of 146 units in men and 142 in women at a median price of 33p/unit compared with £1.10 for low-risk drinkers. For the patients in our study, the impact of a minimum unit price of 50p/unit on spending on alcohol would be 200 times higher for patients with liver disease who were drinking at harmful levels than for low-risk drinkers. As a health policy, a minimum unit price for alcohol is exquisitely targeted at the heaviest drinkers, for whom the impact of alcohol-related illness is most devastating.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; alcohol policy; cirrhosis; liver; minimum unit price

PMID:
25099842
PMCID:
PMC4952834
DOI:
10.7861/clinmedicine.14-4-396
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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