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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/14/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

World Health Organization says alcohol killed three million people worldwide within a year

It's far deadlier than AIDS, tuberculosis and violence - and many people willingly embrace its deadly charms: alcohol. According to the world Health Organization, three million people worldwide died of alcoholism and alcohol-related causes in a single year.

It's far deadlier than AIDS, tuberculosis and violence - and many people willingly embrace its deadly charms: alcohol.

It's far deadlier than AIDS, tuberculosis and violence - and many people willingly embrace its deadly charms: alcohol.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/14/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Alcohol, alcoholism, death-related, WHO


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More than three million people died worldwide as a result of drinking alcohol in 2012. Deaths from alcohol took many forms. Many died from diseases related to their individual alcoholism, while others lost their lives due to incidents taken place while they were intoxicated. The World Health Organization is calling on the world's governments to do more to limit alcohol's damage.

WHO expert on chronic disease and mental health, Oleg Chestnov, declares that there is "no room for complacency." He also warned that drinking too much kills more men than women, raises people's risk of developing more than 200 diseases and killed 3.3 million people in 2012.

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According to the WHO report, every person in the world age 15 or older drinks 1.64 gallons of pure alcohol per year. Less than half the population - 38.3 percent - drinks, so those who do drink on average 17 liters of pure alcohol a year.

"We found that worldwide about 16 percent of drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking - often referred to as 'binge-drinking' - which is the most harmful to health," Shekhar Saxena, director for mental health and substance abuse at WHO says.

Those living in poverty are generally more affected by the social and health consequences of alcohol, as they "often lack quality health care and are less protected by functional family or community networks."

The report on alcohol and health studied 194 countries and looked at alcohol consumption, its impact on public health and policy responses.

Some nations are already strengthening measures to protect people from harmful drinking. Those include increasing taxes on alcohol, limiting its availability by raising age limits and regulating marketing.

The WHO recommends that more countries take similar action. More also needed to be done to raise awareness of the damage alcohol can do to people's health and screen for those who may need earlier intervention to cut down or stop.

Europe consumes the most alcohol per person, with some countries there having particularly high rates of harmful drinking.

A study published earlier this year found that a quarter of all Russian men die before they reach their mid-fifties, largely from drinking to excess. Some men in that study reported drinking three or more bottles of vodka a week.

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