Geneva: Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organisation said on Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk.
The UN health agency’s latest report on alcohol and health pointed out that alcohol causes more than one in 20 deaths globally each year, including drink driving, alcohol-induced violence and abuse and a multitude of diseases and disorders.
Men account for more than three quarters of alcohol-related deaths, the nearly 500-page report found. “Far too many people, their families and communities suffer consequences of harmful use of alcohol through violence, injuries, mental health problems and diseases like cancer and stroke,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
“It’s time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies,” he added.
Drinking is linked to over 200 health conditions, including liver cirrhosis and some cancers.
Alcohol abuse also makes people more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and pneumonia, the report found.
The some three million alcohol-related deaths registered globally in 2016 the latest available statistics account for 5.3 percent of all deaths that year. In comparison, HIV/-AIDS was responsible for 1.8 per cent of global deaths that year, road injuries for 2.5 per cent and violence for 0.8 per cent, the study showed.
The latest numbers are lower than those in WHO’s last report published in 2014.