Think about your alcohol intake, say health bosses


People in Milton Keynes are being asked to think about their alcohol intake, and to consider the serious health effects of drinking to excess this winter, during Alcohol Awareness Week.

Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (MKCCG), which oversees healthcare across the city, is supporting the campaign by promoting the importance of moderate drinking.

Excessive drinking can greatly increase the risk of people suffering long-term conditions such as heart disease and some cancers, as well as give rise to hospital admissions and put extra pressure on A&E departments.

19 per cent of people in Milton Keynes are drinking at a level which increases the risk of damaging their health. There were almost 40,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions and attendances in 2012/13 and a total of 71 deaths from alcohol-related causes.

The daily recommended sensible drinking limits are no more than three to four units of alcohol per day for men, and no more than two to three units of alcohol per day for women.

If you are concerned about the amount you drink, you can make an appointment to speak with your GP who will be able to give you advice and may also refer you for specialist help or to a local community alcohol centre. There are also a number of local pharmacies across Milton Keynes that can provide clinical advice.

Dr Nicola Smith, GP chair of MKCCG, said: “The effects of excessive drinking will leave you with more than a bad hangover.

“The long-term detrimental effects of over-consumption are very serious and can lead to a number of health problems such as high blood pressure and depression, as well as life-threatening conditions including heart disease, liver disease and a number of cancers.

“Drinking is something that many people enjoy, but as with many things in life, it’s best to exercise moderation. It’s important to know the recommended units of consumption for men and women, especially in light of the figures that show just how many people are admitted to hospital for drinking and how it damages your health. Alcohol is the second biggest risk factor for cancer after smoking.”

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