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UN Warns Of Rise In Alcohol-Related Deaths

Nearly 4 percent of all deaths worldwide are related to alcohol abuse, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. Annual consumption of pure alcohol was the equivalent of 6.1 liters per person across the world in 2005. The United States consumed 9.4 liters per person -- nearly 70 percent was beer and wine, the rest liquor.

Worldwide consumption in 2005 was equal to 6.13 litres of pure alcohol consumed per person aged 15 years or older, according to the report. Analysis from 2001-2005 showed countries in the WHO Americas, European, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific regions had relatively stable consumption levels during that time; but marked increases were seen in Africa and South-East Asia during the five-year period.
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Above: Worldwide consumption in 2005 was equal to 6.13 litres of pure alcohol consumed per person aged 15 years or older, according to the report. Analysis from 2001-2005 showed countries in the WHO Americas, European, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific regions had relatively stable consumption levels during that time; but marked increases were seen in Africa and South-East Asia during the five-year period.

Susan Bower, deputy director of Alcohol and Drug Services for the County of San Diego, said San Diego’s indicators show slight increases since 2006 for the number of people seeking treatment for alcohol abuse. But she said alcohol-related emergency department discharges have risen significantly.

"The rate of alcohol-related emergency department discharges increased by 33 percent from 2006 to 2009," said Bower.

Bower said the data refers to patients who were treated and discharged from emergency rooms in San Diego County, and does not represent all patients who go to the ER.

The main causes of alcohol-related deaths are injuries incurred when drunk, cancer, liver cirrhosis, heart disease and strokes.

"It's a killer and it's not good from a public health point of view,'' Melvin Freeman of South African's Ministry of Health and a contributor to the report, told reporters in Geneva.

Worldwide, over 6 percent of male deaths are related to alcohol, but only 1 percent of deaths in women. Almost one in 10 deaths among young people aged 15 to 29 is from alcohol-related causes — about 320,000 each year — the WHO said.

The global body's first report on the subject in seven years recommended that governments raise alcohol taxes, restrict sales, promote alcoholism prevention and treatment programs, and ban some alcohol advertising.

The Associated Press contributed to the information in this report.

Comments

Avatar image for user 'Dalpayphred'

Dalpayphred | February 18, 2011 at 6:14 a.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

One would have to to agree alcohol is related to preventable tragedy.

Four percent of an estimated 56 million deaths per year* is a notable total of just over 2.2 million world wide. The question is how will modified behavior change these statistics. Four percent is outside the first and second standard deviations. That is to say; research knows this will happen, just not when and where.

International treaties such as the one governed by the W.H.O. allow recommendations by member nations. This provides for a curious feature within medical statistics. Those nations who culturally prohibit alcohol may comment of the deviation encountered by those who do permit consumption.
This may be considered a deliberate act to influence the policies of other nations.

By all means excessive alcohol consumption is more costly to those nations with advanced technologies. It is also a reflection of Civil Liberties.

*http://www.medindia.net/patients/calculators/world-death-clock.asp

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