LONDON (AP) — New British government figures show that alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales jumped by a fifth in 2020 to reach their highest level in two decades. and are at their highest level for 20 years. The Office for National Statistics said there were 7,423 deaths attributed to a direct consequence of alcohol misuse in 2020, a 19.6% increase from the year before. It said the majority were due to chronic conditions, such as alcohol-related liver disease. The rise began in March 2020, when the U.K. began its first coronavirus lockdown. The statistics office said it may be some time before the reasons for the increase are fully understood.
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