New research from the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics found that women in low-paying jobs are nearly six times more likely to die from alcohol abuse than women in better-paying positions.
The report found that female cleaners, sewing machinists, and bar staff are 5.7 times more likely to face liver disease, mental disorders, and alcohol poisoning than lawyers and doctors, despite the fact that wealthier women drink almost twice as much alcohol. The study also found that men who work as laborers or drivers are about three and a half times more likely to die from alcohol abuse then those in higher-paying roles.
This report is the first analysis of the social inequalities in alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales over the past ten years. Last year, an Office for National Statistics report found that higher-paid women drink almost twice as much alcohol as lower-paid women.
Although this seems to be a contradiction, statistician Myer Glickman, whose team performed the study, said that there are other factors that could affect lower-income women's health, such as poor diet and smoking, which could make them more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Drinking patterns can also differ, such as binge drinking or drinking similar or greater amounts over a longer period of time. In addition, higher-paid women usually have better health care than lower-paid women.
The most alcohol-related deaths occurred in males between the ages of 50 and 54 with routine, lower-paid jobs and in women between the ages of 45 and 49 with routine jobs. For the less-advantaged groups, alcohol-related deaths peaked in middle age and then declined, whereas the risk of alcohol-related deaths increased steadily with age for managers and professionals.
This suggests that alcohol-related deaths among the less-advantaged tend to be more common, and that the less-advantaged tend to be younger when they suffer alcohol-related mortality.
The study also found that the number of alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales doubled between 1991 and 1998, increasing from 3,415 in 1991 to 7,344 in 2008. The most recent data from 2009 showed a 3.3 percent decrease in alcohol-related deaths.
Men in all classes of work had the highest mortality rate in the North West of England, followed by the North East, the West Midlands, and London. The mortality rate was significantly higher for all classes combined than England and Wales as a whole.
The East of England had the lowest mortality rate, about half of that in the North West. The second lowest was the South West, followed by the East Midlands and the South East. Similar patterns were seen for women, but with overall lower death rates.
Source: Daily Mail Reporter, Women in low-paid jobs 'six times more likely to die from alcohol abuse', May 25, 2011