Wednesday, 22 September 2010
It's All in our Genes
Being a native Scot, along with the northern and southern Irish, I'm reportedly more than twice as likely to die an alcohol-related death than English or Welsh folk living in Scotland.
New research could suggest a link between ethnicity and dangerous levels of drinking. Indians are far more at risk than Pakistanis who are more likely to be Muslim non-drinkers.
Researchers at Edinburgh and Oxford univerisities worked with the NHS Information Services Division to analyse causes of death relating directly to alcohol from 2000-2006. They found that men born in England and Wales were 64% less likely to die as a result of alcohol than native Scottish males.
This latest study reports it is the poorest socioeconomic groups which suffer from more alcohol problems, although the last report I read said the problem covered all groups and all ages.
Raj Bhopal, Professor of Public Health at Edinburgh University says alcohol is estimated to account for around two thirds of liver disease deaths. He is now looking to better understand which ethnic groups have greater susceptibility to booze and to target them with 'prevention' strategies. It wouldn't surprise me if big pharma is in the process of manufacturing alcohol patches, chewing gum and lozenges.
28% of alcohol-related deaths in Scotland are among Pakistani-born males compared with Scottish-born males. I can foresee breathalyser testing being introduced in mosques.
That's the Scots and Pakistanis dealt with - I wonder how well India will fare trying to wean a fair percentage of their population off alcohol.