DEATH rates from alcoholic liver disease among under 75s in the North-East continue to be way above the national average.

Public Health England (PHE) said the rate of people dying early from liver disease in some parts of England was almost eight time times higher than others.

In the North-East the mortality rate from liver disease linked to alcohol consumption was 13.6 people per 100,000 population between 2013 and 2015.

Loading article content

In England as a whole the rate was 8.7 people per 100,000 population.

The highest mortality rate was in Stockton (19.1), followed by Hartlepool (18.6) and Middlesbrough (17.7)

Only Darlington (10.1) was similar to what PHE regarded as the ‘benchmark’ rate.

Professor Julia Verne, head of clinical epidemiology at PHE, said chronic liver disease was a “silent killer” of young adults.

Colin Shevills, director of the North-East Alcohol Office Balance, said: “Alcohol is the most common cause of liver disease and these figures show the stark reality of how years of drinking from early adulthood are mounting up.

“High rates in the North-East make depressing reading, but are not particularly surprising. Enough alcohol is sold in the region for drinkers to consume more than 22 units a week.

“That is much higher than the Government’s guidelines of no more than 14 units per week to stay low risk.

“If we want to make a real difference in reducing the numbers suffering alcohol-related liver disease we need national action to stop alcohol being sold too cheaply and promoted too heavily.”