Society

World Health Organization Finds Alcohol Kills 3.3 Million Annually

| by Jonathan Wolfe

A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that alcohol kills at least 3.3 million people worldwide annually. In light of the finding, the WHO is urging governments to do more to educate their citizens on the dangers of alcohol and disincentivize its use.

"More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption," said Oleg Chestnov, a WHO expert on chronic disease and mental health.

The report found that on average, every person in the world age 15 or older drinks the equivalent of 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per year. But since only 38.3% of the global population drinks, those who do drink consume an average of 17 liters of pure alcohol annually.

The report finds that in addition to the death toll of alcohol, people who drink are more susceptible to over 200 illnesses ranging from cancer to pneumonia. Long story short, drinking alcohol can cause quite a few negative health consequences. Not that you didn’t already know that.

The WHO report used data from over 194 nations around the world. Not surprisingly, Eastern European nations and Russia are home to the world’s biggest drinkers. The six countries with the highest alcohol consumption per capita rates reside in Eastern Europe. To help visualize the drinking habits of different populations around the world, the WHO put together this map:

Here are the 10 countries with the highest alcohol consumption per capita rates:

1. Belarus – 17.5 litres

2. Republic of Moldova – 16.8 litres

3. Lithuania – 15.4 litres

4. Russian Federation – 15.1 litres

5. Romania – 14.4 litres

6. Ukraine – 13.9 litres

7. Andorra – 13.8 litres

8. Hungary – 13.3 litres

9. Czech Republic and Slovakia – 13 litres

10. Portugal – 12.9 liters

Sources: Reuters, Mail Online