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The health risks associated with alcohol are massiv (Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou, University of Washington)


Updated figures from the Global Burden of Disease Study:

Effective alcohol policies are needed now to yield health benefits in the future

There is no safe level of alcohol use. Nearly three million deaths globally were attributed to alcohol use in 2016. Increasing alcohol use may result in increasing health problems in the future in low and middle income countries.

Jente holder to plastposer - 1200p - firkantet.jpgA new systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) was published in the journal Lancet in August this year. The study builds on figures from 2016 and data from 195 countries. Globally, alcohol use was found to be the seventh leading risk factor for both deaths and disability-adjusted life-years lost (DALYs) in 2016. Nearly 3 million deaths globally were attributed to alcohol use, including 12 percent of deaths in males between the ages of 15 and 49.

The new study points at a special challenge for low and middle income countries. Harmful effects of alcohol use could become an increasing challenge for these countries amid gains in the Sustainable Development Index (SDI). In other words, economic and social development may produce increasing alcohol-related harm, - if mitigating policies are not put in place.

“It is crucial for decision makers and government agencies to enact or maintain strong alcohol control policies today to prevent the potential for rising alcohol use in the future”, concludes the Lancet article.

“The health risks associated with alcohol are massive,” said Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the senior author of the study. “With the largest collected evidence base to date, our study makes the relationship between health and alcohol clear – drinking causes substantial health loss, in myriad ways, all over the world,” said Max Griswold, senior researcher and lead author for the new study.

The new GBD figures suggest that there are no safe limits for alcohol use. “There is a compelling and urgent need to overhaul policies to encourage either lowering people’s levels of alcohol consumption or abstaining entirely,” according to Dr. Gakidou. “The myth that one or two drinks a day are good for you is just that – a myth. This study shatters that myth.”