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Thousands of young teenage girls hospitalised after binge drinking

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 Thousands of young teenage girls hospitalised after binge drinking

More than 5,000 girls under the age of 16 needed hospital treatment last year after bingeing on alcohol.

The number, which includes girls as young as ten, has soared by 21 per cent in the past five years.

The increase is even larger among older age groups.

In 2007-08, just over 13,000 young women between 17 and 21 were admitted to hospital for problems caused by alcohol, up almost 50 per cent from 2003-04.

The dramatic increase highlights the problems of the growing ladette culture among young women, which is seeing women being diagnosed with liver disease at a much younger age.

But among women aged 26 or over there has been a similar rise. Almost 300,000 needed hospital treatment compared with 196,625 five years earlier - again up nearly 50 per cent.

The figures, which emerged in response to a parliamentary question by Labour MP Sally Keeble, include treatment for conditions ranging from upset stomach to mental or behavioural problems triggered by alcohol.

Last October, Mrs Keeble launched a Private
Member’s Bill calling for a minimum price on alcohol to deter heavy drinking, an idea which has since won the support of England’s Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson.

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