Hospital data backs pub theory

YOU shared your “smidgen of concern” about publishing an article about the reported mental health benefits of male drinking in pubs (Leader, 12 January).

In our current research study, 639 drinkers whose alcohol consumption had caused their attending or being admitted to Edinburgh or Glasgow hospitals, told us that 92.8 per cent of the alcohol they purchased was from supermarkets and other off-licence shops. It would appear that the pub is not a significant contributor to ill health among Scottish drinkers.

This is one piece of evidence relating to the argument for a minimum unit price. MUP will not affect the purchase price of alcohol in pubs, hotels, bars and restaurants. It may encourage a return to the local pub which could, as you say, be good for mental health.

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Professor Jonathan Chick, Dr Jan Gill, Professor Barbara McPake, Fiona O’May, Robert Rush, Heather Black and Cheryl Rees, School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh