Alcohol linked to 2.8 million deaths per year worldwide: study

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas
| Pune |

Published: August 24, 2018 12:47:36 pm

In 2016, the prevalence of female drinkers in India was 4.1 percent and deaths from alcohol use among women were 0.71 percent (42,000 deaths).

Alcohol is globally associated with one in ten deaths among people aged 15-49 years, according to a survey called Global Burden of Disease & # 39 ;, published in The Lancet. In general, alcohol is linked to 2.8 million deaths a year worldwide, according to the study. The study, published on August 23, focused on alcohol use and health effects in people in 195 countries between 1990 and 2016. Worldwide, one in three people drink alcohol, which is equivalent to 2.4 billion people. 2.2 percent of women and 6.8 percent of men die of alcohol-related health problems each year, according to the study.

In 2016, the prevalence of female drinkers in India was 4.1 percent and deaths from alcohol use among women were 0.71 percent (42,000 deaths). In men, the prevalence was 20 percent and deaths attributed to alcohol use were 4.7 percent (2.9 lakh deaths).

According to lead author Dr. Max Griswold of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, USA, aged 15-95 years, drinking one alcoholic drink a day increases the risk of developing one of the 23 alcohol-related health problems by 0 , 5 percent in a year, compared with not drinking at all.

The risk of developing alcohol-related health problems increased to 7 percent in people who drank one day three times a day and 37 percent in people who drank five glasses a day for a year.

In the study, a standard alcoholic beverage is defined as 10 g alcohol: examples are a small glass of red wine (100 ml) at 13% alcohol per volume, a can or a bottle of beer (375 ml) at 3.5% alcohol by volume ; or a shot of whiskey or other liquor (30 ml) with 40% alcohol by volume.

Researchers said that there is no safe alcohol level, as beneficial effects against ischemic heart disease are compensated for by the adverse effects on other health areas, in particular cancers.

Worldwide, one in three people (32.5 percent) drink alcohol, which corresponds to 2.4 billion people, including 25 percent women (0.9 billion) and 39 percent men (1.5 billion). On average, a woman consumes 1.73 alcoholic drinks a day, while men have 1.7 drinks.
The drinking patterns vary worldwide. The largest number of alcohol drinkers is in Denmark (95.3 percent women and 97.1 percent men), while the lowest in Pakistan for men (0.8 percent) and Bangladesh for women (0.3 percent). Men in Romania and women in Ukraine drink the most (respectively 8.2 and 4.2 drinks per day), men in Pakistan and women in Iran drink the least (0.0007 and 0.0003 drinks per day respectively).

Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, professor and surgeon at the Tata Memorial Hospital, who is one of the staff of the Lancet report, said that consumption of alcohol in India is steadily increasing.

Officially, Native Americans are still among the lowest alcohol consumers in the world, with more than 60 percent of adults completely abstaining, says Dr Chaturvedi, citing national surveys of households.

"However, studies have shown that India has a large number of heavy drinkers – more than 75 ml / day or almost every day of the week." The average age at which alcohol use began has also decreased from 28 in the 1980s to 17 in 2007 It is sad that India does not have an overarching central policy to discourage alcohol use There is no warning on alcohol packages, although it is a proven carcinogen, "he said.

According to Professor K Srinath Reddy, chairman of the Public Health Foundation of India, there is a need for more campaigns for health literacy, because drunken driving is the main cause of traffic accidents. There are several causes of death related to alcohol use and is associated with tuberculosis, traffic injuries, self-harm and cancer.

Alcohol use was ranked as the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disability worldwide in 2016, the report said.

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