Alcohol abuse kills 3 million a year: WHO

Last Modified Saturday, 22 September 2018 (18:04 IST)
United Nations: More than three million people, mostly men, died in 2016 due to drinking too much alcohol, which means that one out of 20 deaths is linked to harmful boozing, a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Asserting that far too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of the harmful use of through violence, injuries, mental health problems and diseases like cancer and stroke, WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, ''it's time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies.''
Of all deaths attributable to alcohol, 28 per cent were caused by injuries (from traffic accidents, self-harm and violence); 21 per cent were due to digestive disorders; and the remainder were caused by cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, cancers, mental disorders and other health conditions, a WHO's Global status report on alcohol and health 2018 revealed on Saturday.
An estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide drink alcohol, with average daily consumption of people at 33 grams of pure alcohol a day. This is roughly equivalent to two 150 ml glasses of wine, a large (750 ml) bottle of beer or two 40 ml shots of spirits.
"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's substance abuse unit. He said proven, cost-effective steps included raising alcohol taxes, restricting advertising and limiting easy access to alcohol.
Worldwide, 45 per cent of total alcohol consumed is in the form of spirits.
Despite a reduction in heavy episodic drinking and the number of alcohol-related deaths since 2010, said the figures of disease and injuries caused by alcohol remain ''unacceptably high,'' particularly in Europe and the America. (UNI)
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