• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 43s

Alcohol responsible for 1 death every 10 seconds

By Jessica Firger / CBS News 12:16 PM May 12, 2014

Approximately 3.3 million deaths worldwide in 2012 were the result of alcohol consumption, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. Additionally, 16 percent of people in the world who use alcohol could be categorized as binge drinkers.

The new report, which examined the trends in alcohol use among 194 WHO member states, found Europe topped the list for the region with the highest rate of alcohol consumption per capita, though the rate has remained stable over the past five years. In the last half decade, alcohol use also remained unchanged in Africa and throughout the Americas. However, drinking increased in the South-East Asia and the Western Pacific regions of the world.

The report found alcohol-related mortality was more common for men than women: 7.6 percent of deaths among men versus 4 percent of deaths among women worldwide were linked to excessive drinking. However, the authors of the report say alcohol abuse among women is on the rise. A similar report released in 2011 found 6.2 percent of all male deaths were related to alcohol, compared to 1.1 percent of female deaths at that time.

The overall number of alcohol-related deaths rose from 2.5 million in the 2011 report.

It’s well known that alcohol abuse puts a person at higher risk for developing a number of serious health conditions, including cirrhosis of the liver, certain types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, mental health problems and addiction. Alcohol is also a factor in many accidental deaths from injuries in car accidents, falls, drowning and other causes.

The report found that global alcohol consumption averages out to 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per year for every person in the world aged 15 years or older. However, since only about 38 percent of the world population actually drinks alcohol, this means that those who do drink consume on average 17 liters of pure alcohol annually.

Though many WHO member states have worked to address alcohol abuse in their public health agendas, addiction and death is still a prevalent problem throughout the world, and the report points out it is often linked to socioeconomic factors.

“Lower-income groups are more affected by the social and health consequences of alcohol,” Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director for mental health and substance abuse at WHO, said in a press release. “They often lack quality health care and are less protected by functional family or community networks.”

According the report, only 66 countries have national leadership that’s developed policies to address pervasive alcohol abuse in their county. Such policies include taxes on alcohol, enforcing age restrictions and implementing regulations to control the marketing of alcoholic beverages. However, 140 states have started some form of public health campaign to bring greater awareness to alcohol abuse.

Overall, WHO says their report indicates government leadership throughout the world needs must do more to address the far-reaching problem.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Pedestrian killed in midtown hit-and-run

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 11:28

    Anchorage police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision in midtown. Just after 10:30 a.m. Friday, a green Ford Explorer reportedly struck a female pedestrian and left the scene, near A Street and East Northern Lights Boulevard, according to a statement from the Anchorage Police Department. Multiple witnesses at the scene told police that the young […]

  • DayBreak

    6th Annual TEDx Anchorage: Industry, Story and Power

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 27, 11:04

    A series of Alaskan presenters are aiming to spark conversations and create connections at the sixth annual TEDx Anchorage. “The point of a Ted Talk is to explain a big idea, something new, a new way of thinking that people haven’t thought of before,” said Clare Ross, who is on the board of directors for […]

  • News

    Oil council: Shale won’t last, Arctic drilling needed now

    by Associated Press on Mar 27, 10:39

    A U.S. Energy Department advisory council says the U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future. The study released Friday says that in order for the U.S. to keep domestic production high […]

  • DayBreak

    Becca’s Closet helps girls on a budget get their prom dresses for free

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 27, 10:36

    The start of spring means prom season is right around the corner. For many, this high school tradition is a rite of passage into adulthood and a great way to celebrate four years of hard work. However, proms don’t always come cheap — especially when it comes to prom dress shopping. Anna Grant, the founder […]

  • News

    Choose Respect campaign on chopping block

    by Kate McPherson on Mar 27, 9:56

    As communities across Alaska rallied Thursday supporting the Choose Respect campaign, the Senate Finance subcommittee on the Department of Public Safety recommended eliminating what was left of the budget. Former Gov. Sean Parnell initiated the program in 2009 with the aim of putting an end to domestic violence and sexual assault in Alaska. Gov. Bill Walker is […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, March 27

    by Brett Shepard on Mar 27, 8:18

    Southcentral Mostly cloudy skies today with rain at times for the Prince William Sound and eastern Kenai Peninsula. Southeast A good chance of light rain at times for most of the region. Interior Record warmth possible again today for much of the region. North Slope A chance for some snow showers, but otherwise skies will […]

  • DayBreak

    Meet Gizmo & Tinkerbelle, this week’s Daybreak Adopt-A-Pets

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 27, 8:13

    Tinkerbelle and Gizmo are two long-time companions who are very comfortable in each other’s company. Gizmo comes out to greet you and gently asks for attention without being overly demanding. Tinkerbelle is a bit more reserved, but once she warms up you’ll be treated to kisses. They have lived with children ages 6 to 18, […]

  • On-Air

    Get Out: Anchorage Snowmobile Club

    by Brett Shepard on Mar 27, 7:49

    The calendar may already say it’s spring, but if you are like me and can’t let go of winter, there is fun to be found even in this low-snow year. In this week’s Get Out, I found one spot where winter is holding on and you get to go along for the ride. The scenery, […]