Clinical Edge

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Alcohol Use and Global Disease Burden

Lancet; ePub 2018 Aug 23; GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators

Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss across a lifespan, especially in men. This according to a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016, where researchers used 694 data sources of individual and population-level alcohol consumption, along with 592 prospective and retrospective studies on the risk of alcohol use, to estimate the prevalence of current drinking, abstention, the distribution of alcohol consumption among current drinkers in standard drinks daily, and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). They found:

  • Alcohol use was the seventh leading risk factors globally for both deaths and DALYs in 2016.
  • Among those aged 15-49 years, alcohol use was the leading risk factor globally in 2016.
  • In those aged ≥50 years, cancers accounted for a large population of total alcohol-attributable deaths in 2016.
  • The risk of all-cause mortality rises with increasing levels of alcohol consumption.
  • The levels of consumption that minimizes health loss is zero.

Citation:

GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators. Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories 1990-2016: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. [Published online ahead of print August 23, 2018]. Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31310-2.

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