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

Nick Sheron*, Fern Chilcott, Laura Matthews, Ben Challoner, Maria Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-403
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Medicine, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol policy
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver
  • Minimum unit price

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