Alcohol third leading cause of disease and injury worldwide
Despite the fact that most adults across the globe don't drink, new research suggests that alcohol is causing disease and injury at an alarming rate.
Research from the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study found that, globally, alcohol is the third leading cause of disease and injury.
"Alcohol consumption has been found to cause more than 200 different diseases and injuries," said Kevin Shield, the lead author of the study.
Drinking patterns worldwide
The study found that Canadians drink more than 50 percent above than what was determined to be the global average, but that Europeans and residents of Sub-Saharan Africa are the heaviest consumers of alcohol. The latter two groups also consumed alcohol in the most unhealthy ways, drinking large quantities, binge drinking and consuming alcohol outside of meal times.
Regions that consumed the least amount of alcohol were North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
As for North Americans, they drink at about 50 percent above the global average, and they show more "detrimental" drinking patterns than European countries, like binge drinking.
A cause for concern
The study also found that about one-third of alcohol consumed in 2005 was "unrecorded" alcohol, which means it was substances not meant for consumption, like home-brewed alcohol.
In 2010, alcohol was responsible for 5.5 percent of the disease and injury burden, ranking third after smoking and high blood pressure.
"Improving alcohol control policies presents one of the greatest opportunities to prevent much of the health burden caused by alcohol consumption," said Shield.
Source: Science Daily