based on global estimates of people’s health and alcohol consumption, alcohol occupies a disturbing high point on the list of all the things that threaten our lives or health.
in fact, for people aged 15 to 49, alcohol is the leading cause of physical injury worldwide. We have a serious drinking problem.
led by Max Griswold of the Institute of health indicators and evaluation at the University of Washington, D.C., surveyed nearly hundreds of studies and data sources involving about 28 million people. According to his findings, any health benefits of alcohol are overshadowed by its toxic effects.
“previous studies have found that alcohol has a protective effect on certain diseases, but we have found a positive correlation with alcohol related health risks,” Griswold said. According to the estimates of this study, about 2.4 billion people, or about one third of them, have drinking habits, and the number of male drinkers is far more than that of women. Accordingly, fewer than 4% of women aged 15 to 49 died of drinking in 2016, and the risk tripled to a staggering 12.2% for men in the same age group. This makes alcohol a major risk factor for early death in most adults in 2016. In most cases, alcohol use exacerbates the effects of other diseases, such as tuberculosis, or is considered a major factor in road injuries or self mutilation. For people aged 50 and over, alcohol related mortality is not that bad. However, alcohol is associated with certain types of cancer, accounting for 27.1% of deaths in women and 18.9% in men. This is not to say that alcohol has no benefits. But this positive effect is not important and is easily overwhelmed by the increased risk of other health conditions.
“alcohol is a huge global health problem, and the slight reduction in health-related hazards from low alcohol intake is offset by the increased risk of other health-related hazards, including cancer.” As alcohol is deeply embedded in culture around the world, mitigating its impact on our health may be the biggest challenge.
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