Nov 26 2009 By Mike Larkin
PEOPLE from Glasgow's poorest areas are the most likely to suffer serious facial injuries due to violence according to a new study.
It found that people who live in the deprived areas are nearly seven times more likely to suffer major scarring, with young men the most at risk.
The Glasgow University Dental School report found injuries to the face and neck were usually drink-related.
Two-thirds of Scotland's most deprived areas are in Glasgow.
According to the report, between 2001 and 2006, there were 82,461 patients in a severe enough condition to be admitted to Scottish hospitals with a facial injury.
It also claims the annual cost of alcohol misuse to the National Health Service in Scotland put at s405m.
Dr Conway said: "The costs to society and the health service are high, but the cost to individuals health is great.
"Facial injuries produce significant and nasty facial scars - but the fact this is determined by your postcode and how deprived the area you live in is a scar for all of us.
"Those from the most deprived areas were almost seven times more likely to have such an injury as their affluent counterparts."
"Men were over five times more likely to have such an injury, and those in the youngest age-group, 15-19 years, were around one-tenth more likely."
The study also highlights a recent run of 249 patients from a Scottish trauma unit which found about 80 per cent of their facial injuries were alcohol-related.
Dr Goodall said one way to address the problem is to offer counselling when patients attend accident and emergency or facial trauma clinics.
She said: "We know from previous work in Glasgow that 25 per cent of facial trauma patients will sustain another alcohol related injury in the future.
"Brief alcohol counselling sessions have been shown to be effective in helping facial trauma patients to cut down their drinking both by ourselves and by other groups around the country."
The authors said the issue of deprivation must also be tackled to address the problem, and that the wider health problems caused by excess alcohol must be confronted.
The researchers found that between 2001 and 2006, more than 82,000 people suffered facial scars in Scotland.
In their report, The Scar on the Face of Scotland, the authors said the issue must be tackled with joined-up action.