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300,000 pensioners a year hospitalised from alcohol misuse

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More than 300,000 pensioners in England were hospitalised due to alcohol in 2007, it has been revealed.

This is a rise of two thirds compared with 2002 and equivalent to 900 over-65s each day, according to figures released in answer to a parliamentary question.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake obtained the figures.

‘These figures are deeply worrying, and ministers must take action to tackle this new and disturbing trend,’ he said.

‘The government has massively under-funded alcohol treatment services, while this problem has been allowed to escalate.’

Alcohol misuse charity Alcohol Concern blamed the aging population, low cost of alcohol and better detection rates on the surge in hospitalisations.

‘If the high number of alcohol related hospital admissions in the over 65s seem shocking, it’s because these are a group of drinkers who hide their problems in the home,’ said Alcohol Concern Chief Executive Don Shenker.

‘Currently, many treatment services will not treat over 65s. Government needs to develop a strategy for reducing alcohol harm among older people, to identify those at risk and provide specialist treatment.’

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