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Alcohol deaths in young women show 'worrying rise', warns study

The number of deaths of women born in the 1970s has "disproportionately increased" since the middle of the last decade

Cheap drink has led to a “worrying” increase in alcohol-related deaths among young women in England and Scotland, according to a new study.

Since the mid-2000s, there has been an overall fall in alcohol-related deaths across all sexes and age groups except women born in the 1970s, according to the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The researchers urged health officials use the figures as a "warning signal".

The study focused on Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester, all of which have similar levels of poor health and deprivation.

Researchers analysed trends in deaths related to alcohol in all three cities from the 1980s up to 2011 among people born between 1910 to 1979.

In Glasgow, women born between 1970 and 1979 died from alcohol-related causes at a much earlier age than those born in the 1960s, and in "notable numbers".

In the early 1980s, rates of alcohol related deaths were three times as high in Glasgow as they were in Liverpool and Manchester, and rates rose over the next three decades in all three cities.

Death rates stabilised in all three cities by the early 2000s, and fell during the latter part of the decade in all three - apart from in women born during the 1970s.

"The similarity of trends in alcohol-related deaths in young women in Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool raises real concerns for the long-term health of this cohort in both England and Scotland," the researchers said.

"It is imperative that this early warning sign is acted upon. Given this increase in the younger cohort is seen in all three cities it is hard to dismiss this as a city-specific phenomenon.

"Failure to have a policy response to this new trend may result in the effects of this increase being played out for decades to come."