THE number of York pensioners admitted to hospital because of their drinking has more than doubled in the past 10 years - and is now a "significant" problem.

NHS research reveals that the number of people aged 65 or older admitted to hospital with alcohol-related problems in the city is also well above the national average.

Public health bosses say the rise is concerning and an issue they are taking “very seriously”.

Drinking can cause more than 200 diseases including cancer, strokes, heart disease and depression, according to the NHS. And liver disease is now the only rising major cause of death in the UK.

Fiona Phillips, assistant director of public health at City of York Council, said: “The number of hospital admissions related to alcohol is a concern to us and as a public health team we are taking this very seriously.

“Whilst most people are aware of the immediate dangers of the over consumption of alcohol we often don’t realise that many health conditions can be experienced as a direct result of drinking alcohol at lower levels.

“A glass of wine here or a bottle of beer there might not seem like much but the units can add up and as the units add up so do the health risks.”

The figures show 1,232 per 100,000 over 65s in York were admitted to hospital for alcohol-related problems in 2018, compared to 585 in 2008.

Dr Nigel Wells, clinical chair of Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said organisations are working to reduce alcohol abuse but that the figures are “a worry for us all”.

He said: “York has significantly above average hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions in both men and women, and for admissions for mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol. This is a worry for us all and we need to continue with a coordinated approach.

“The rates in Selby and the rest of North Yorkshire are not as high.

“By providing those who are drinking at risky and harmful levels with the right information, effective support or treatment, partners want to see alcohol related harm reduced.”

Funding for support to help drinkers and drug users will be cut by more than £500,000 over five years under cuts to the city council’s public health budget, according to a report published in March.

Labour councillor Anna Perrett said alcohol abuse has “wider costs to the health and criminal justice systems” as well as a “damaging impact on families”.

She added: “These figures show York has significant issues with alcohol misuse, and the recent scrutiny review on substance misuse highlighted that an estimated 15,000 York residents are drinking at harmful levels."

“It’s essential that where problems are identified, which often result in medical issues for those involved, that there is a properly funded, effective support service available.”

Anyone concerned about their or someone else’s drinking can contact their GP or