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Published On: Mon, May 12th, 2014

WHO: Six percent of all deaths worldwide attributed to alcohol use

The World Health Organization (WHO) released today the ‘The Global status report on alcohol and health 2014’, which takes a hard look at alcohol consumption worldwide. 

Public domain image/  Jmcstrav at the wikipedia project

Public domain image/ Jmcstrav at the wikipedia project

The new report provides country profiles for alcohol consumption in the 194 WHO Member States, the impact on public health and policy responses.

It also points to some alarming data. Starting with the overall number, worldwide, 3.3 million people die every year due to harmful use of alcohol, this represent 5.9 % of all deaths.

In addition, alcohol consumption causes death and disability relatively early in life. In the age group 20 – 39 years approximately 25 % of the total deaths are alcohol-attributable.

How much pure alcohol does the average consume annually? If you guessed 17 liters, you’d be correct.

The WHO says 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.

Check out the individual country reports here

Other statistics and information the global health agency report include: Overall 5.1 % of the global burden of disease and injury is attributable to alcohol, as measured in disability- adjusted life years, worldwide about 16% of drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking – often referred to as ‘binge-drinking’ and the latest causal relationships have been established between harmful drinking and incidence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis as well as the course of HIV/AIDS.

“More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption,” says Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. “The report clearly shows that there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol.”

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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