Alcohol killed 3.3 million people worldwide


Worldwide, 3.3 million deaths in 2012 were due to harmful use of alcohol, says a new report launched by WHO. Alcohol consumption can not only lead to dependence but also increases people’s risk of developing more than 200 diseases including liver cirrhosis and some cancers. In addition, harmful drinking can lead to violence and injuries.

The report also finds that harmful use of alcohol makes people more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.

The global status report on alcohol and health covered 194 countries and looked at alcohol consumption, its impact on public health and policy responses.

Some countries are already strengthening measures to protect people. These include increasing taxes on alcohol, limiting the availability of alcohol by raising the age limit, and regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages.

On average every person in the world aged 15 years or older drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol per year. But as less than half the population (38.3%) actually drinks alcohol, this means that those who do drink consume on average 17 litres of pure alcohol annually. Lower-income groups are more affected by the social and health consequences of alcohol. They often lack quality health care and are less protected by functional family or community networks.

Globally, Europe is the region with the highest consumption of alcohol per capita, with some of its countries having particularly high consumption rates. Trend analysis shows that the consumption level is stable over the last 5 years in the region, as well as in Africa and the Americas, though increases have been reported in the South-East Asia and the Western Pacific regions....

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