Booze harm highest in Queenstown

Last updated 05:00 24/07/2013

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The prevalence of alcohol-related hospital cases is higher in Queenstown than any other southern hospital.

A report by Public Health South, published this month, revealed the southern region has the highest prevalence of hazardous drinking - defined as drinking patterns that risk physical, mental or social harm - in New Zealand.

The prevalence of alcohol-related presentations was highest at Lakes District Hospital, with 12 per cent.

Overall across the three hospitals, 7 per cent of emergency department cases - or 2579 presentations - were alcohol-related.

The report said the minimum cost of alcohol-related emergency department presentations during the survey time frame was more than $1.4 million, which it said was an "extremely conservative" estimate.

Data was collected from patients and health practitioners for Lakes District, Dunedin and Southland hospitals between January 24 and November 6 last year.

Southland has a much higher rate of 15 to 24-year-old alcohol-related hospital admissions than the national average, at 317.6 per 100,000 compared with 199.5 per 100,000 nationally.

In Otago the rate is 215.3 per 100,000.

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- The Southland Times

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