LONDON–Binge drinking and 24-hour alcohol shops have helped cause a ��shocking�� 40-percent jump in deaths from liver disease in England, public health officials said on Monday. The survey over a 12-year period found that England is now the only European country where fatalities from liver disease are rising, as drinking has gone down in other parts of Europe. ��These results were far more shocking than I imagine,�� said Julia Verne, who is head of liver disease at Public Health England, the government agency in charge of healthcare. ��It’s clear from looking at the data that the continuous availability of alcohol, and not just binge drinking, is fuelling an increase in deaths from liver disease,�� she said. The study found that the preventable disease was now the country’s only major cause of death that was still rising, killing 10,948 people in 2012 compared to 7,481 in 2001.
The study also found major differences between north and south. It said 58.4 out of 100,000 male adults had died of liver disease in Blackpool, a seaside town in northwest England, more than four times as many as in Central Bedfordshire in southeast England where 13 per 100,000 died over the 12 years.