The harmful consumption of alcohol kills an estimated 2.5 million people across the world every year, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report unveiled today, urging governments to implement measures to prevent drinking habits that damage health and cause other social problems.
According to the Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, harmful alcohol use is increasingly affecting the younger generations and drinkers in the developing countries.
According to the report, nearly 4 per cent of all deaths globally are related to alcohol, and most alcohol-related deaths result from injuries, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and liver cirrhosis. Globally, 6.2 per cent of all male deaths are related to alcohol, compared to 1.1 per cent of female deaths, the report notes.
Analysis from 2001-2005 showed countries in the Americas, European, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific regions had relatively stable consumption levels during that time.
Abstention rates are low in high-income, high-consumption countries, and higher in North African and South Asian countries. But those who do drink in countries with high abstention rates consume alcohol at high levels.