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.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Clinical Medicine, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2014|
- Alcohol policy
- Minimum unit price