Trends in alcohol deaths

Trends in alcohol deaths in Scotland, Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Glasgow CityAlcohol Deaths Scot GGC GCClick on graph to expand

Trends in alcohol related deaths in Glasgow are similar to that in Scotland as a whole, in that death rates began to rise in the early 1990s and fell in the mid 2000s. However, the increase and subsequent decrease in alcohol deaths in Glasgow was greater than in Scotland as whole, i.e. larger changes were experienced in Glasgow compared to the country as a whole.

The trends for the wider conurbation, Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GG&C), are similar to Glasgow’s although alcohol related mortality rate in GG&C is consistently lower.

 Trends in alcohol deaths in Glasgow City by area deprivationAlcohol Deaths by Deprivation

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*Deprivation quintiles are based on Glasgow city distribution. 1981-2001: uses Carstairs; 2002-2011: uses SIMD 2012.

Alcohol related deaths in Glasgow increased across all levels of area deprivation during the early 1990s but the increase was greatest in the most deprived areas - between 1981 and 2001 the death rate increased by 177% in the most deprived quintile compared to 81% in the least deprived quintile.

The recent fall in alcohol deaths in Glasgow from the mid-2000s was experienced more equally across all levels of area deprivation. Although the absolute falls were larger in the most deprived areas, in relative terms the decrease was more comparable – in the most deprived areas alcohol related deaths fell by 27% and in the least deprived areas it fell by 24% in the same period.

The overall result is an increase in inequalities in alcohol related deaths in the last three decades in Glasgow; in 1981 alcohol related deaths in the most deprived areas were 2 times greater (a 2-fold difference) than in least deprived areas, but by 2007/11 there was a 5-fold difference.

The latest official figures on alcohol deaths in Scotland (up to 2012) are available from National Records of Scotland.


Area deprivation was measured by Carstairs score up to 2000, after which this score system was superseded by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides a definition of alcohol related deaths based on the diagnosis on the death certificate. Approximately three quarters of alcohol deaths relate to disease of the liver, a quarter relate to mental health related alcohol conditions resulting in death. The remainder (approximately 3%) relate to diseases of other organs or death resulting from acute intoxication.

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Additional Resources

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