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Alcohol-related deaths hit record high in UK amid coronavirus

Alcohol-related deaths hit record high in UK amid coronavirus
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Alcohol-related deaths have hit a record high in the United Kingdom during the first nine months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to provisional figures.

There were 5,460 alcohol-related deaths between January and September of last year, the largest amount of alcohol-related deaths recorded since 2001. The number is also up 19 percent from those months in 2019, BBC reported.

"Today's data shows that in the first three quarters of 2020, alcohol-specific deaths in England and Wales reached the highest level since the beginning of our data series, with April to September, during and after the first lockdown, seeing higher rates compared to the same period in previous years,” Ben Humberstone, spokesman for the Office for National Statistics, told BBC.

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The number of deaths was twice as high for men as it was for women, which is normal among alcohol-related deaths.

The peak of the death rate was in the first three months, between January and March, when there were 12.8 deaths per 100,000 people, which is the highest-ever rate ever recorded in the country. 

It is not clear if the coronavirus contributed to this high death rate yet, as more research needs to be done. Many people were struggling and still are as the virus hammers the global economy and leaves many unable to see friends and loved ones. 

"The reasons for this are complex and it will take time before the impact the pandemic has had on alcohol-specific deaths is fully understood,” Humberstone said.