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Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
'Lad culture' alive and well
Pints on bar
Young people are more likely to drink too much
The "laddish culture" is thriving in Scotland with alcohol still taking its toll on the nation's health, according to the country's chief medical officer.

Dr Mac Armstrong conceded that the Scottish Executive's health advertisements were not succeeding as new figures revealed that alcohol-related deaths were on the increase.

The clinical outcome indicators report showed that, in 1990, one in every 100 deaths in Scotland was alcohol-related. By 1999, that number had risen to one in 40.

The report also stated that 16 to 25-year-olds of both sexes were the most likely to exceed the recommended weekly alcohol limits.

Mac Armstrong
Mac Armstrong: Message not getting through

Dr Armstrong said: "Alcohol-related problems currently cost Scotland 1bn a year and cost the health service in Scotland around 96m.

"The laddish culture is alive and well and living in Scotland and it is not doing our young people any good at all.

"The public health messages aren't working. But in this case and in other areas, these figures spur us into further activity."

He stressed that the executive remained committed to improving the general health of the population.

"Alcohol, along with drugs, tobacco, poor diet and poor exercise are the key areas that need to be tackled," said Dr Armstrong.

Anti-smoking message

He also expressed disappointment at part of the report which showed that the number of women dying from lung cancer was rising while the figure for men was falling.

The report showed that while the disease was still the biggest killer in Scotland, the anti-smoking message seemed to be getting through to men more than women.

He said: "Smoking is seen as a talisman of equality in women, but if it is a sign of equality, then most women would say it is not the kind of equality they want."

The report said that only Belgium has a higher rate of male smokers in Europe, with Scots women top of the European table.

Lung cancer deaths were highest in the west of Scotland.

Survival rates

This year's report is the ninth to be carried out by the executive's Clinical Resource and Audit Group (CRAG).

Elsewhere, the report reveals that the number of people suffering heart attacks in Scotland has dropped from 13,004 in 1991 to 8,707 in 2000.

Survival rates in the first 30 days after admission to hospital have also gone up from 79% in 1991 to just over 82% in 2000.

The report also contains a section on immunisation levels for children, which showed that take-up rates in Scotland were above 90%.

Although the MMR uptake among two-year-olds has fallen in the past year, Dr Armstrong said the latest statistics showed the overall picture was improving.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Fiona Walker reports
"We can't seem to shake off our culture of excess."
See also:

02 Jul 02 | BMA Conference
10 Jun 02 | Health
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