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Liver disease admissions double

The Government has been criticised after it was revealed the number of people treated in hospitals for alcoholic liver disease has more than doubled under Labour.

The number of admissions was 16,252 in 1996-7, but 39,725 by 2005-06, according to NHS Hospital Episode Statistics.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said the Government had failed public health, and warned that increasing pressures on the health service would only add to the problem.

He said: “The pressure on the NHS has increased to such an extent that shocking figures like these expose the extent to which Labour have ignored the advice of frontline health professionals.”

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The statistics also add to growing concerns surrounding Britain’s drink culture, with the introduction of 24-hour licensing laws already being blamed in rising rates of binge-drinking.

The Alcohol Health Alliance – which consists of 24 different health organisations – has already claimed that if alcohol advertising was banned before 9pm, alcohol-related deaths could be cut by up to 30% per year.

The Government said it would need more evidence about the causes of excessive drinking before such bans could take place.

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