Trends in European liver death rates: Implications for alcohol policy

Jo Jewell, Nick Sheron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Changing alcohol consumption has led to a three- to fivefold increase in liver deaths in the UK and Finland, and a three- to fivefold decrease in France and Italy. Increasing consumption from a low baseline has been driven by fiscal, marketing and commercial factors - some of which have occurred as a result of countries joining the EU. In contrast consumption has fallen from previously very high levels as a result of shifting social and cultural factors; a move from rural to urban lifestyles and increased health consciousness. The marketing drive in these countries has had to shift from a model based on quantity to one based on quality, which means that health gains have occurred alongside a steady improvement in the overall value of the wine industry. Fiscal incentives - minimum pricing, restricting cross border trade and more volumetric taxation could aid this shift. A healthier population and a healthy drinks industry are not incompatible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-263
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Medicine, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Drinks industry
  • Liver
  • Mortality
  • Wine


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