Hospital admissions for alcohol-related emergency care and chronic illness are significantly higher in areas with the most pubs, bars and clubs, research has found.
The density of restaurants and other outlets selling alcohol was also linked to admission rates in England, according to the study published in journal Addiction.
Authorities have been urged to consider the impact of local licensing decisions on hospitals in light of the research.
Researchers from the University of Sheffield analysed data from more than one million hospital admissions attributable to alcohol over a 12-year period.
Areas in England with the most pubs, bars and nightclubs had 22% higher hospital admission rates for chronic conditions linked to drinking, such as liver disease, compared with those with the lowest density of alcohol vendors.
They also had 13% higher admission rates for acute conditions, such as vomiting, caused by alcohol, the research found.