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One In 20 of All Deaths Due To Alcohol, Says WHO – Nicola Davis

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Alcohol is responsible for more than 5% of all deaths worldwide, or around 3 million a year, new figures have revealed. The data, part of a report from the World Health Organization, shows that about 2.3 million of those deaths in 2016 were of men, and that almost 29% of all alcohol-caused deaths were down to injuries – including traffic accidents and suicide. The report, which comes out every four years, reveals the continued impact of alcohol on public health around the world, and highlights that the young bear the brunt: 13.5% of deaths among people in their 20s are linked to booze, with alcohol responsible for 7.2% of premature deaths overall…….

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/21/5-of-all-deaths-due-to-alcohol-who-says

 

 

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The Global Gender Gap In Alcohol-Related Deaths Infographic – Niall McCarthy

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A major new global study published in The Lancet has found that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The research looked at levels of alcohol use and its health effects across 195 countries between 1990 and 2016.

It found that even an occasional drink can prove harmful and its authors say that governments should recommend people abstain entirely from alcohol consumption. Consuming alcohol caused 2.8 million deaths in 2016 and it was the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability among people aged 15 to 49.

Even though moderate drinking has been associated with limited health benefits for years, with a daily glass of red wine seen as being good for the heart, the new research claims that the harmful impact far outweighs any benefits. The following infographic shows the top-10 countries in terms of overall deaths attributable to alcohol and specifically, it highlights the massive gender gap in mortality. In the United States, for example, 71,000 male deaths and 19,000 female deaths were  attributable to alcohol in 2016.

Researchers used 694 studies to estimate worldwide drinking patterns and used 592 studies plus 28 million people to learn about alcohol’s health risks between 1990 and 2016 in 195 countries.

They found drinking alcohol was associated with nearly 1 in 10 deaths of people ages 15 to 49 years old. Causes included tuberculosis, road injuries and self-harm. For people over 50, cancers were cited as a leading cause of alcohol-related death (about 27 percent of deaths in women and 19 percent of deaths in men).

Researchers found that the “burden” of alcohol consumption was worse than previously reported. They called for more regulations around alcohol use and said there is no amount of alcohol that is healthy.

More research must still be done to explain how drinking patterns affect health. For example, a glass of wine every evening versus binge drinking. Griswold said there are also unknowns around health once people stop drinking.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture, suggests women have no more than one drink daily and men have no more than two. The American Society of Clinical Oncology, made up some of the nation’s top cancer doctors, has said limiting alcoholic drinks is important for cancer prevention.

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These Everyday ‘Drugs’ Cause More Harm Than the Illegal Ones, Study Says

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Worldwide, alcohol and tobacco cause much more death, disability and addiction than illegal drugs, according to a new review.

The review analyzed data from 2015 on global drug use — both overall and in 21 different regions — using data from the World Health Organization, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, as well as other sources. The researchers examined both the prevalence of drug use as well as the “health burden,” in the form of death and disability tied to drugs.

The researchers found that, worldwide, an estimated 18 percent of people reported “heavy” alcohol use in the last month (heavy use corresponds to more than 60 grams of alcohol, or about four standard drinks, on one occasion). In addition, 15 percent reported daily tobacco smoking, 3.8 percent reported marijuana use in the past year, 0.77 percent reported amphetamine use in the past year, 0.37 percent reported non-medical opioid use in the past year and 0.35 percent reported cocaine use in the past year.

Some of the highest levels of alcohol consumption were in Central, Eastern and Western Europe, where the per-capita consumption was 11 to 12 liters (about 3 gallons) of pure alcohol a year, compared with about 6 liters (1.5 gallons) a year per capita worldwide. These regions also had the highest levels of daily tobacco smoking, with around 21 to 24 percent of those populations reporting daily smoking, according to the review. [Here’s How Much Alcohol Is OK to Drink in 19 Countries]

Regarding addiction, an estimated 63 million people worldwide were dependent on alcohol in 2015, with about 843 cases of  alcohol dependence per 100,000 people. For comparison, about 20 million people were dependent on marijuana (260 cases per 100,000 people) and 17 million were dependent on opioids (220 cases per 100,000 people) in 2015.

However, the rates of marijuana and opioid dependence were almost threefold higher in the United States and Canada (a region called “high-income North America” in the report) than in the rest of the world, with an estimated 749 cases of marijuana dependence and 650 cases of opioid dependence per 100,000 people.

Tobacco smoking was tied to the greatest rate of death. For every 100,000 deaths in 2015, 110 were tied to tobacco, while just 33 were related to alcohol and seven to illegal drug use.

The researchers also calculated how many years of life were lost by people who died from drug use, or who were living with disability from drug use (which together were called “disability-adjusted life years,” or DALYs). They found that tobacco smoking cost the human population 171 million DALYs, compared with 85 million DALYs for alcohol and 28 million DALYs for illegal drug use.

“Alcohol use and tobacco smoking are far more prevalent than illicit substance use, globally and in most regions,” the researchers wrote in the May 11 issue of the journal Addiction.

And tobacco smoking accounted for most of the health burden due to drugs, they said. Still, the health toll of illegal drugs may be underestimated because available data on these drugs is limited.

For example, some countries and regions (including Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia) have little or no data on substance use and its associated health burden, the researchers said.

“Better standardized and rigorous methods for data collection, collation and reporting are needed to assess more accurately” the disease burden from substance use worldwide,” the researchers said.

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