Fewer people died of alcohol-related causes in the UK in 2007, according to a new government report.

Deaths directly attributed to alcohol "levelled off" at 8,724 in 2007, the government has said in its Health Profile of England 2008 report, published today (27 January).

The figure translates to a slightly lower death rate per 100,000 when compared with 2006, but the number of deaths is still more than double that reported in 1991.

Alcohol is responsible for more deaths in men than women, with the Office of National Statistics reporting a male death rate of 18.1 per 100,000 in 2007, compared to a rate of 8.7 for women. Men over the age of 55 are at particular risk.