A LARGE number of East Lancashire residents are ‘drinking themselves to death’ every year, new figures have revealed.

The number of men in Hyndburn and women in Burnley who died after losing their battle with the bottle in 2012 were among the highest in the UK, the latest Public Health England statistics showed.

In Hyndburn, 89.1 out of every 100,000 men died due to alcohol abuse, the tenth worst in England and Wales and a yearly rise of eight per cent.

And in Burnley, 44.3 out of every 100,000 women died, the third worst in England and Wales and an increase of 57 per cent.

The national average is 63.2 for men, and 28.05 for women.

The figures have been branded a ‘concern’ by Haslingden and Hyndburn MP Graham Jones.

The Labour MP said: “GPs are telling me people in their 40s are going to see them with ill-health and diseases they would previously only have expected to see in older people.

“Amongst the minority, there is a fags and booze culture, which is causing me and the health services considerable concern. We are drinking ourselves to death and a booze culture celebrates that without realising the consequences.”

Elsewhere, the number of men dying from alcohol abuse was 86.1 in Burnley, 72.89 in Blackburn with Darwen, 59.91 in the Ribble Valley, 64.06 in Pendle, and 59.37 in Rossendale, per 100,000.

All areas showed a drop in 2012 compared to the year before, except Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, which both showed small increases.

For women, it was 32.85 in Hyndburn, 27.45 in Blackburn with Darwen, 23.75 in the Ribble Valley, 26.51 in Pendle, and 34.08 in Rossendale.

In contrast to the men’s figures, all the areas showed an increase compared to the year before, except Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley.

Director Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “We welcome the continuing decline in alcohol-related deaths nationally, but current levels of harm caused by alcohol remain unacceptably high, especially those in deprived communities, who are not seeing reductions.”