UN health agency sounds alarm on alcohol abuse

Feb 11, 2011

(AP) -- Alcohol abuse is killing 2.5 million people each year and governments must do more to prevent it, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Some 4 percent of all deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol, the U.N. body said. The main causes of alcohol-related deaths are injuries incurred when drunk, cancer, , 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 just over 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 - 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.

WHO declined to provide a specific recommendation on the acceptable limit of , saying setting such a level was up to member states.

Shekhar Saxena, the director of WHO's mental health and substance abuse department, said the effects of alcohol use also differ in ethnic groups. Populations in Asia, for example, are more susceptible to throat cancer from .

But he added "in WHO's perspective, no drinking is entirely safe."

Explore further: Health care organizations see value of telemedicine

More information: WHO report: http://bit.ly/eNzZep

3 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sunday alcohol sales cause crash rise

Oct 09, 2006

A New Mexico study has found that alcohol-related car crash deaths have risen 49 percent since the state repealed a law prohibiting alcohol sales on Sundays.

Nations pledge crackdown on online alcohol ads

May 20, 2010

(AP) -- Countries around the world are pledging to get tough with companies that market beer and liquor on social media networks such as Facebook, warning that such promotions threaten to entice a new generation into harmful ...

Study shows 1 in 25 deaths worldwide attributable to alcohol

Jun 26, 2009

Research from Canada's own Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) featured in this week's edition of the Lancet shows that worldwide, 1 in 25 deaths are directly attributable to alcohol consumption. This rise since ...

Recommended for you

Health care organizations see value of telemedicine

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Health care organizations are developing and implementing telemedicine programs, although many have yet to receive reimbursement, according to a report published by Foley & Lardner.

Before you go... are you in denial about death?

17 hours ago

For most of us, death conjures up strong feelings. We project all kinds of fears onto it. We worry about it, dismiss it, laugh it off, push it aside or don't think about it at all. Until we have to. Of course, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.