Seattle - Alcohol consumption accounts for 2.2% of all deaths in women and 6.8% in men worldwide. According to systematic analysis in the Lancet (), every tenth premature death in the 15 to 49-year-old age group can be traced back to alcohol consumption. According to the authors, low alcohol consumption is also harmful, since the beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system and the avoidance of type 2 diabetes are more than offset by an increased risk of cancer.
The analysis, which correlates 694 sources of data on alcohol use in 195 countries with the results of 592 prospective and retrospective studies on the risks of alcohol use, was carried out by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, which was conducted by which is sponsored. More than 500 researchers from over 40 nations took part in the study, making it by far the largest epidemiological research project on the influence of alcohol consumption on the health of the world's population.
Emmanuela Gakidou's team from the University of Washington State in Seattle has researched that 2.4 billion (adult) people, that is third of the world's population, consume alcohol. Among them are 1.5 billion men and 900 million women.
The average prevalence is highest at 72 percent in highly developed countries, which are more in the colder regions closer to Poland. With prevalence of 94.3 percent among men, Germany ranks fourth after Denmark, Norway and Argentina. The prevalence among women is 90.0 percent. That is position three after Denmark and Norway.
Daily consumption is highest among men in Romania with 8.2 drinks per day (Germany is not represented in the top ten countries here). Women drink the most in Ukraine with 4.2 drinks per day (Germany with 2.9 drinks per day in 9th position).
In contrast, only 8.9 percent of the population drink in poorer, mostly warmer countries Alcohol, and if so, then mostly in small amounts. In these regions, religions like Islam or Hinduism, which strictly reject alcohol, are more widespread.
In some cases there are large differences between the sexes, as in Nepal, where 21 percent of men but only 1.5 percent of women drink alcohol, while the proportion in Sweden is 87 percent for men and 86 percent for Women is practically identical.
According to Gakidou's calculations, alcohol consumption caused 2.8 million deaths worldwide in 2016. This corresponds to the aforementioned 2.2 percent of deaths in women and 6.8 percent in men. Alcohol consumption was responsible for 1.6 percent of all years of life lost through illness or disability (DALY) worldwide. For women it was 6.0 percent.
In young adults (15 to 49 years of age), alcohol consumption was the world's leading risk factor for premature death with 8.9 percent of all DALYs in men and 2.3 percent in women. In women in this age group, 3.8 percent and in men 12.2 percent of all deaths were attributable to alcohol.
Alcohol increases the risk of number of cardiovascular diseases. These include atrial fibrillation and flutter, stroke, hypertensive heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
Alcohol is also linked to an increased risk of cancer. These include carcinomas of the mammary gland, colon, liver, esophagus, larynx, lips, oral cavity and nose.
Alcohol is an important cause of cirrhosis of the liver, but it does contribute to type 2 diabetes , Epilepsy and pancreatitis. Alcohol can also lead to addiction.
According to Gakidou, alcohol promotes infections of the lower respiratory tract and tuberculosis. In poorer countries, even more people die of tuberculosis as result of alcohol than in traffic accidents.
Alcohol is often the cause of interpersonal violence and self-harm. After all, alcohol increases the risk of road accidents and injuries of all kinds due to drunkenness.
However, when consumed in moderation, alcohol can also protect against diseases, including ischemic heart disease and, with some restrictions, type 2 diabetes . Gakidou found J-shaped dose-effect curve for both diseases, which suggests protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption. However, this protective effect is overshadowed by an increased risk, especially of cancer, so that Gakidou finally comes to the conclusion that the limit for harmful effect of alcohol is zero drinks per day.