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Alcohol accounts for more than one in 20 deaths worldwide

Alcohol accounts for more than one in 20 deaths worldwide


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WHO is investigating the effects of alcohol

The consumption of alcohol poses a number of health risks and should therefore only be used with extreme caution. Alcohol is the cause of more than one in 20 deaths worldwide, of which more than three quarters affect men.

The World Health Organization (WHO) researchers found that alcohol consumption causes more than one in 20 deaths. The experts published the results of their investigation in a current report.

Three million deaths a year from alcohol

In total, three million people die each year from the effects of harmful alcohol consumption. This corresponds to 5.3 percent of all deaths, say the scientists. In 2016, this affected around 2.3 million men. Many of these alcohol-related deaths result from traffic accidents, violent confrontations, digestive disorders, cardiovascular diseases, infections, mental disorders, cancer, and other health conditions.

People between the ages of 20 and 39 are particularly badly affected

Overall, alcohol consumption accounts for 5.1 percent of all injuries and illnesses worldwide. The scientists explain that the results of the report, which appears every four years, underscore the ongoing challenge that alcohol poses to society. The WHO described the number of deaths as unacceptably high, especially in Europe and America. Young people between the ages of 20 and 39 are disproportionately affected. In this age group, 13.5 percent of all deaths are attributable to alcohol consumption.

It is time to take action against alcohol consumption

Far too many people, their families and communities are suffering from the consequences of harmful alcohol consumption due to violence, injuries, mental health problems and diseases such as cancer and stroke, says the Director General of WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It is urgent to act to tackle this serious threat.

Europe has the highest alcohol consumption rates in the world

The results of the report show that 2.3 billion people around the world consume alcohol. In Europe, alcohol consumption rates are the highest in the world. However, it is positive that per capita consumption in Europe has fallen by more than ten percent since 2010, the experts say. Despite the higher consumption rates in Europe, Africa bears the heaviest burden of illness and injury caused by alcohol.

How much alcohol is drunk on average each day?

The average daily consumption of people in the world who drink alcohol is 33 grams of pure alcohol per day, which is about two glasses (150 ml each) of wine, one large (750 ml) bottle of beer or two small glasses (40 ml) of schnapps corresponds.

What measures can be taken?

The report shows that alcohol consumption disorders are more common in high-income countries, but also notes that socio-economic status is an important vulnerability factor. WHO calls for measures such as increasing taxes and providing more support services to combat the effects of alcohol, especially in less economically developed countries. All countries can do much more to reduce the health and social costs of harmful alcohol consumption, says Dr. Vladimir Poznyak from the World Health Organization. Proven, cost-effective measures include increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages, banning or restricting the advertising of alcohol, and restricting the physical availability of alcohol. (as)

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