It is well established that people who live in more deprived communities or who have fewer personal socioeconomic resources are much more likely to die or suffer from a range of diseases, including those related to alcohol. For example, males and females in the most socioeconomically deprived neighbourhoods of the UK have been estimated to be two to three times as likely to die from an alcohol-related condition than their counterparts living in the least deprived. However, this is not simply due to differences in alcohol consumption, as surveys suggest that overall consumption is similar across groups.
This observation, that deprived populations that apparently consume the same or less alcohol than more affluent populations suffer far greater levels of harm, we have termed the alcohol harm paradox.
This report investigates the paradox in more detail in order to focus the development of interventions and provides crucial evidence that can help tackle health inequalities in our society.