Home > Consumption and harm: drinking patterns of the Irish, the English and the Irish in England.

Harrison, Larry and Sutton, Matthew and Carr-Hill, Roy (1993) Consumption and harm: drinking patterns of the Irish, the English and the Irish in England. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 28, (6), pp. 715-723.

External website: http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstr...

These has been controversy over the relationship between alcohol consumption and related problems amongst the Irish in England. Irish migrants have high Standardised Mortality Ratios for chronic liver disease and cirrhosis and high hospital admission rates for alcohol-related diagnoses in England. Yet it has been considered that people from the Republic of Ireland, whether living in Ireland (Conniffe et al., 1990) or in England (Pearson et al., 1991), actually drink less than the English.

This paper reviews the evidence. In recent years Irish per capita volume alcohol consumption has been comparable to that of the U.K., although the distribution of consumption differs. Women in Ireland are less likely to drink than women in England and Wales, while men in Ireland are more likely to drink at high-risk levels than men in England and Wales: their average weekly consumption levels are closer to those of high-consuming men in Yorkshire and Humberside, who also drink more than the U.K. national average.

Men in Ireland also appear to be more likely to experience drinking problems than their counterparts in England and Wales, although this may be related to factors other than the total amount of alcohol consumed. Although a previous study of General Household Survey data indicated low-risk alcohol consumption levels for people from the Irish Republic living in Britain, a reanalysis of these data adjusting for age and gender shows drinking rates that are very high. While it is important to avoid unhelpful stereotypes about Irish drunkenness, attempts to minimise or deny the scale of problems faced by a disadvantaged migrant group will result in the Irish community not receiving the resources and help that it needs.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Page Range
pp. 715-723
Oxford University Press
Accession Number
HRB 4309 (Not in collection)

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