Of the 3 million deaths attributed to alcohol, 28% were due to traffic accidents, violence, suicides, and other violent acts; 21% to digestive problems and 19% to cardiovascular diseases.
More than 3 million people died in 2016 due to excessive alcohol intake, which means that one in 20 deaths worldwide was linked to drinking too much, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
More than three of the dead were men, according to the UN health agency. And despite the evidence of the risk to health, global consumption of alcohol would increase in the next 10 years.
- “It is time to increase actions to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a report. “Too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of the harmful use of alcohol.”
In its “Report on the global state of alcohol and health in 2018,” the WHO stated that some 237 million men and 46 million women have problems with drinking or abuse of alcohol. The highest prevalence is in Europe and America and alcohol use disorders are more common in richer countries.
- Of all the deaths attributable to alcohol, 28% were due to injuries, such as traffic accidents, self-harm, and interpersonal violence. Another 21% were due to digestive problems, while 19% were due to cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.
About 2,300 million people in the world drink alcohol, with an average daily consumption of 33 grams of pure alcohol a day. That is roughly equivalent to two glasses of wine of 150 ml of wine, a large bottle of beer (750 ml) or two shots of 40 ml of strong alcoholic beverages.
Europe has the highest consumption of alcohol per person in the world, despite having fallen by about 10% since 2010. Current trends point to a per capita increase in consumption in the next 10 years, said the report, particularly in Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific, and America.
- “All countries can do much more to reduce the health and social costs of the harmful use of alcohol,” said Vladimir Poznyak of the WHO Substance Abuse Unit. He added that proven and cost-effective measures include raising the alcohol tax, restricting advertising and limiting easy access to its acquisition.