Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Drink warning for Scots expats

Man drinking (Generic)
Experts said a big drinking culture among Scots could be a factor

Expat Scots who live in England and Wales are twice as likely to die from alcohol-related conditions than the locals, a study has suggested.

Researchers said a greater drinking culture was one of the probable reasons why Scots were at increased risk of dying from liver cancer.

They called for a focus on developing new policies on the issue.

The study, carried out by Edinburgh University was published in the Journal of Public Health.

The team used information on deaths for England and Wales from 1999 to 2003 and figures from the 2001 census to quantify the link between a person's country of birth and the likelihood of dying from an alcohol-related condition.

These findings show significant differences in death rates by country of birth for both alcohol-related deaths and liver cancer
Dr Neeraj Bhala

The difference in alcohol-related deaths rates, it said, could be explained by cultural differences in rates of alcohol consumption.

For example, adults who are Scottish or Irish have been shown on average to drink more than the recommended limit of alcohol.

Dr Neeraj Bhala, of Edinburgh University who led the study, said: "Deaths from alcohol-related conditions, liver disease and liver cancer are increasing in the UK, but little is known about the role of ethnicity or country of birth.

"Some ethnic groups appear to be setting an example for the population as a whole with very low rates of liver disease, almost certainly as a result of low alcohol consumption."

"These findings show significant differences in death rates by country of birth for both alcohol-related deaths and liver cancer.

"We now need to focus on developing new policy, research and practical action to help address these differences."



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