'Increasing alcohol cost curbs harmful drinking'

London, Aug 1 (IANS): Reducing alcohol's affordability is the most effective way to reduce alcohol-related harm in people, says a study.

A Minimum Unit Price (MUP) policy for alcohol can target heavy drinkers with cirrhosis, the findings showed.

The researchers studied the amount and type of alcohol consumed by 404 liver patients, and also asked patients how much they spent on alcohol.

Patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis were drinking on average the equivalent of four bottles of vodka each week, and were buying the cheapest booze they could find, irrespective of their income.

In contrast, low risk moderate drinkers were paying on average 1.1 pounds per unit.

"It has been shown that those with alcoholic liver disease consume large quantities of alcohol, and they purchase the cheapest alcohol," said Ian Gilmore, one of the researchers.

"The evidence is clear from this study that an MUP would not have a significant effect on low risk drinkers but would target those for whom the impact of alcohol-related liver disease is most devastating," Gilmore added.

The study appeared in the journal Clinical Medicine.


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