The number of people in Scotland whose death was caused by alcohol has risen again to the highest level in 14 years.

The latest figures from National Records of Scotland (NRS) show 1,276 people died from conditions caused by alcohol in 2022.

This was 31 (2%) more than the previous year, which was the highest number since 2008.

Male deaths – which were unchanged at 836 – again accounted for about two thirds of alcohol-specific deaths.

Female deaths increased by 31 to 440.

Daniel Burns, head of vital events statistics at NRS, said: “Looking at the long-term trend the number of deaths from alcohol-specific causes fell between 2006 and 2012 but has risen since and is now about the same as 2010 levels.

“In 2022, the average age at death for females from an alcohol-specific cause was 58.7 years and for males it was 60.0 years.”

The rate of mortality from alcohol-specific causes was 22.9 deaths per 100,000 people in 2022, up from 22.3 the previous year. NRS said it did not consider the rise to be “statistically significant”.

The alcohol death rate was 4.3 times higher in Scotland’s most deprived areas than it was in the least deprived, though NRS said the “equality gap” has narrowed.

In comparison, there were 1.8 times more deaths of any cause in the most deprived areas than in the least deprived.

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