1 in 20 deaths globally is as a result of alcohol consumption


Alcohol
Alcohol. Photo/Courtesy

In Summary

  • According to a new report by the world health organization,over 3 million people died from alcohol consumption in 2016,equating to 1 in 20 deaths globally.
  • Alcohol consumption was also found to cause more than 5% of the global disease burden and reported to be a causal factor in over 200 disease and injury conditions.
  • The report suggests that global alcohol consumption per capita will increase over the next 10 years, especially in the Southeast Asia and Western Pacific Region and the Americas. 

According to a new report by the world health organization,over 3 million people died from alcohol consumption in 2016,equating to 1 in 20 deaths globally.

More than 75% of these deaths were among men, says the report, published on Friday.

The largest cause of deaths,  28% was due to injuries. This was followed by 21% of deaths due to digestive disorders and 19% due to cardiovascular diseases. The remaining causes of death were infectious diseases, cancers, mental disorders and other health conditions attributable to drinking alcohol.

“The alcohol consumption level continues to be very high,all countries can do much more to reduce the health and social costs of the harmful use of alcohol” said Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, WHO’s Management of Substance Abuse coordinator.

Alcohol consumption was also found to cause more than 5% of the global disease burden and reported to be a causal factor in over 200 disease and injury conditions.

An estimated 237 million men and 46 million women worldwide are affected by disorders due to alcohol consumption, with the European region most affected, followed by the Americas.

“Far too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of the harmful use of alcohol,It’s time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies ” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO.

Alcohol is consumed by an estimated 2.3 billion people globally, according to WHO, and school surveys point out that most children start consuming alcohol before the age of 15.

Worldwide, 45% of alcohol is consumed as spirits, followed by beer 34% then wine 12%.

A recent study found that no amount of alcohol is safe for your overall health, with any benefits offset by higher risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other conditions.

“While there may be a slight benefit to heart and circulatory health from modest drinking, many studies have shown that the overall health risks of drinking alcohol outweigh any benefits,” said Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, in a previous report.

The report suggests that global alcohol consumption per capita will increase over the next 10 years, especially in the Southeast Asia and Western Pacific Region and the Americas.

Though 95% of countries impose taxes on alcohol, WHO expects more actions to be undertaken by countries, adding that fewer than half of them use other price strategies such as banning below-cost selling or volume discounts.

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