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posted by martyb on Wednesday September 26 2018, @06:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the sense-no-makes dept.

Excessive drinking killed over 3 million people in 2016

Drinking too much alcohol killed more than 3 million people in 2016, mostly men, the World Health Organization said.

The U.N. health agency also warned that current policy responses are not sufficient to reverse trends predicting an increase in consumption over the next 10 years.

In a new report Friday, the agency said that about 237 million men and 46 million women faced alcohol problems, with the highest prevalence in Europe and the Americas. Europe has the highest global per capita alcohol consumption, even though it has already dropped by 10 percent since 2010.

Around a third of alcohol-related deaths were a result of injuries, including car crashes and self-harm, while about one in five were due to either digestive disorders or cardiovascular diseases. Cancers, infectious diseases, mental disorders and other health conditions were also to blame.

From the Chapter 4 summary:

In 2016, the harmful use of alcohol resulted in some 3 million deaths (5.3% of all deaths) worldwide and 132.6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) – i.e. 5.1% of all DALYs in that year. Mortality resulting from alcohol consumption is higher than that caused by diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. Among men in 2016, an estimated 2.3 million deaths and 106.5 million DALYs were attributable to the consumption of alcohol. Women experienced 0.7 million deaths and 26.1 million DALYs attributable to alcohol consumption.

Related: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking is Healthy
Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer
Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer
Study: No "Safe" Level of Alcohol Consumption


Original Submission

Related Stories

The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking is Healthy 67 comments

An article by Stanton Peele makes the case that there is strong evidence that reasonable levels of drinking are healthy, and if fact beneficial to your health compared with abstinence.

For all levels of drinking, including the highest one, for both men and women, death rates did not reach those for abstainers.

[...] Of course, abstainers may not drink because they are already ill. Thus the meta-analysis relied on studies that eliminated subjects who are abstaining due to illness, or else contrast drinkers with lifetime abstainers.

There isn't a list of references in the article, but this study may be one of the supporting ones: Alcohol Dosing and Total Mortality in Men and Women: An Updated Meta-analysis of 34 Prospective Studies.

There are, no doubt, reasonable criticisms that can be made, but there does seem to be a case for saying that drinking some alcohol is beneficial.

Article also published in: Pacific Standard Magazine

Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer 30 comments

Source The Guardian

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has pinpointed the level of drinking implicated in liver cancer after undertaking what it says was the biggest review so far of the evidence on the relationship between diet, weight, physical activity and the disease.

Its assessment of 34 previous studies covering 8.2 million people, more than 24,500 of whom had liver cancer, revealed “strong evidence” linking intake of three drinks a day to the disease.

“Around three or more drinks per day can be enough to cause liver cancer,” said Amanda Mclean, director of the charity’s UK branch. “Until now we were uncertain about the amount of alcohol likely to lead to liver cancer. But the research reviewed in this report is strong enough, for the first time, to be more specific about this.”

The WCRF’s findings prompted the Alcohol Health Alliance, a coalition of health organisations, to claim that alcohol is so toxic that cans and bottles should carry health warnings.

“Alcohol, like tobacco and asbestos, is a class 1 carcinogen and it is totally unacceptable that the public is not provided with such basic information”, said Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, the alliance’s chair.

On the flip side...

The WCRF’s analysis also found strong evidence that coffee could help protect against liver cancer, though it did not specify the amounts someone needs to drink.

Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health 28 comments

Alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, is associated with increased risk of adverse brain outcomes and steeper decline in cognitive (mental) skills, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

These results support the recent reduction in alcohol guidance in the UK and raise questions about the current limits recommended in the US, say the authors.

[...] Several factors that could have influenced the results (known as confounding) were taken into account, such as age, sex, education, social class, physical and social activity, smoking, stroke risk and medical history.

After adjusting for these confounders, the researchers found that higher alcohol consumption over the 30 year study period was associated with increased risk of hippocampal atrophy -- a form of brain damage that affects memory and spatial navigation.

-- submitted from IRC

Anya Topiwala, Charlotte L Allan, et al. Moderate alcohol consumption as risk factor for adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline: longitudinal cohort study. BMJ, 2017; j2353 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j2353


Original Submission

American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer 39 comments

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has released a statement (open, DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2017.76.1155) (DX) discussing the links between alcohol consumption and cancer:

The statement provides evidence of a connection between light drinking and an increased risk of esophageal and breast cancer. Heavy drinkers face a much longer list of risks, including mouth cancer, throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. That's a whole lot of cancers.

"The message is not, 'Don't drink.' It's, 'If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less," said Dr. Noelle LoConte, lead author of the statement. "And if you don't drink, don't start." She says this "subtle" take on the issue is somewhat less cautionary than the warnings about smoking. But the message rings the same.

The doctors behind the statement aimed to draw attention to what they view as a public health problem and advocate for a push towards better education and research.

Also at Medscape and ASCO (shorter press release).

Previously: Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer

Related: Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
Researchers Make Alcohol Out of Thin Air
No Magic Pill to Cure Alcohol Dependence Yet
Early Age of Drinking Leads to Neurocognitive and Neuropsychological Damage


Original Submission

Study: No "Safe" Level of Alcohol Consumption 89 comments

No alcohol safe to drink, global study confirms

A large new global study published in the Lancet has confirmed previous research which has shown that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The researchers admit moderate drinking may protect against heart disease but found that the risk of cancer and other diseases outweighs these protections. A study author said its findings were the most significant to date because of the range of factors considered.

The Global Burden of Disease [open, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31310-2] [DX] study looked at levels of alcohol use and its health effects in 195 countries, including the UK, between 1990 and 2016.

Analysing data from 15 to 95-year-olds, the researchers compared people who did not drink at all with those who had one alcoholic drink a day. They found that out of 100,000 non-drinkers, 914 would develop an alcohol-related health problem such as cancer or suffer an injury. But an extra four people would be affected if they drank one alcoholic drink a day. For people who had two alcoholic drinks a day, 63 more developed a condition within a year and for those who consumed five drinks every day, there was an increase of 338 people, who developed a health problem.

One of the study authors, Prof Sonia Saxena, a researcher at Imperial College London and a practising GP, said: "One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the UK population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day."

Related: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking is Healthy
Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer
Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:13AM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:13AM (#740063)

    ... WHO: 3 million people killed themselves, and 3 million people killed other people, due to lack of alcohol.

    • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Wednesday September 26 2018, @01:44PM (6 children)

      by fyngyrz (6567) on Wednesday September 26 2018, @01:44PM (#740165) Journal

      Alcohol: ~3,000,000
      Marijuana: ~0

      <sarcasm>...yep, gotta keep that pot off the street</sarcasm>

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday September 26 2018, @02:29PM (4 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 26 2018, @02:29PM (#740201) Homepage Journal

        I don't think that you can ascertain that there were ~0 deaths due to marijuana. Because WHO includes all alcohol-related deaths, then you have to include all marijuana-related deaths. That would have to include deals gone bad, so one party shoots the other. We had a rather spectacular shooting here a few years ago. One know pot-grower found another pot-grower on the public road adjacent to his grow. He confronted his competitor, words were exchanged, shots were exchanged, and one guy died. Pot-related deaths are probably way down, because pot is becoming mainstream, but there have always been deaths related to pot.

        --
        Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by fyngyrz on Wednesday September 26 2018, @03:21PM (3 children)

          by fyngyrz (6567) on Wednesday September 26 2018, @03:21PM (#740237) Journal

          Because WHO includes all alcohol-related deaths, then you have to include all marijuana-related deaths. That would have to include deals gone bad, so one party shoots the other.

          That's a harmful-legislation-related death. It only occurs because evil legislators have imposed idiotic legislation absolutely guaranteed to produce thriving black markets. Pot is a weed you can grow indoors or in many climates; it happily grows wild. There is no cause for shortage or serious competition except what bad legislation has created. To lay such deaths at the feet of the plant is to ignore the fundamental cause of the problem. Or to pretend to.

          Pot-related deaths are probably way down, because pot is becoming mainstream, but there have always been deaths related to pot harmful legislation.

          FTFY.

          Harmful legislation — legislators — created the unregulated criminal black market; all deaths and collateral damage due to that market can be laid directly at the feet of the legislators responsible. Just as when prohibition moved alcohol out of the mainstream, the legislation that created the black market for alcohol immediately caused deaths. When that legislation went away, so did the black market, and so did the black-market-related violence.

          Trying to legislate recreational drugs away simply creates more problems for the people. It's common human nature to be inclined to indulge in such things, and any legislation that tries to suppress that is bound to cause great harm, just as we have seen.

          Of course, we have to recognize that the typical legislator doesn't make laws for the people; they make them to financially benefit their cronies / fluffers (the alcohol industry, which [correctly] views pot as severe competition; all levels of our so-called "justice" system; and lately private prisons) in order to increase their wealth and receive the benefits / kickbacks thereof, and work also very hard to scare the mommies and daddies so they can get re-elected for (cough) "saving the children."

          In any case, I said "~0", not "0", allowing for perhaps a death from a bale of pot landing on someone's head from a sufficient height to do them in. That you might be able to argue as an actual pot-related death, though really, even that is just a workplace safety issue. :)

          PS: I don't smoke the weed. I did when I was a teenager, but lost interest in it and all other psychoactive recreational drugs before I was 20. I just find it incredibly offensive that legislators get away with doing so much completely uncalled for damage to the people. It really brings home what utter scumbags they are.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @06:26PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @06:26PM (#740365)

            Oh I'm sure somewhere some dumbass has been super high and a death resulted, but statistically insignificant. Also such a dumbass is probably mixing a variety of things, most likely alcohol at the least.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by PartTimeZombie on Thursday September 27 2018, @01:37AM (1 child)

            by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Thursday September 27 2018, @01:37AM (#740577)

            To add to your points, I recently heard a retired police office on the radio opine that pot should stay illegal because "the people who smoke it are criminals" which I thought should have been challenged by the interviewer, but wasn't.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27 2018, @05:36AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27 2018, @05:36AM (#740674)

              So you haven't heard about how the pot-detecting dogs will be killed if its legalized?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @02:41PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @02:41PM (#740209)

        Don't worry, when the eye of sauron turns back towards pot they've find all sorts of health issues to link it to.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:23AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:23AM (#740067)

    So, they left out the Russians, then?

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday September 26 2018, @08:59AM

      by c0lo (156) on Wednesday September 26 2018, @08:59AM (#740080) Journal

      I've seen many drunken Russians, I'm yet to see one dead due to ingestion of too much vodka. It almost sounds to me like a contradiction in terms.
      In terms of substance abuse, it's very likely you do need Novichok to kill them and even then they might recover from a dose that kills a Westerner.

      (grin)

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:26AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:26AM (#740068)

    Sounds like they included any death six degrees of alcohol. It sounds like gun death stats, dude crashes bike while carrying, gun related death.

    • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:32AM (#740070)

      Or the "Kavanaugh" interpretation: dude riding a bike shots himself in the head, and is classified as a bicycle-related fatality. "He should have been wearing a helmet!" When will they ever learn? Organ donor in any case, so sort of a win-win situation. One less gun-lover, one less scofflaw bicyclist, and organs for them what needs 'em! Unless, of course the drunk gun-toting suicide was a habitual drinker, then he organs are crap.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by pkrasimirov on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:48AM (3 children)

    by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:48AM (#740073)

    How many Million People in 2016 were born because of Alcohol?

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by bob_super on Wednesday September 26 2018, @08:00AM (2 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday September 26 2018, @08:00AM (#740077)

      3 miilion died, at least twice as many got their lives ruined, but hey, certainly more than 10 million made a living thanks to alcohol !
      The numbers check out. Drink more.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by suburbanitemediocrity on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:59AM (2 children)

    by suburbanitemediocrity (6844) on Wednesday September 26 2018, @07:59AM (#740076)

    all of life's problems.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Wednesday September 26 2018, @03:58PM (1 child)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday September 26 2018, @03:58PM (#740268)

      Wait, I thought it was women, except often for the "solution" part.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @06:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @06:40PM (#740376)

        Found the incel!

        Too bad they stopped handing out prizes, 2018 internet has made it more like finding fish in a barrel.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @08:00AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @08:00AM (#740078)

    The overall number of deaths in 2016 is estimated at 56.9M: http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death [who.int]

    Still, not enough to put a halt on our current overpopulation...

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @11:20AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @11:20AM (#740105)

    3 million die because of alcohol. But *why* are they overdosing? Depression, social situation, etc.

    Blaming alcohol is lazy.

    • (Score: 1, Disagree) by khallow on Wednesday September 26 2018, @11:56AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 26 2018, @11:56AM (#740112) Journal

      3 million die because of alcohol. But *why* are they overdosing? Depression, social situation, etc.

      Blaming alcohol is lazy.

      Not lazier than blaming the usual laundry list of relatively intractable problems every time something like this comes out. It's worth noting here that alcohol abuse can cause those problems as well as be a response to them.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday September 26 2018, @04:07PM (1 child)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday September 26 2018, @04:07PM (#740276)

      > But *why* are they overdosing? Depression, social situation, etc.
      > Blaming alcohol is lazy.

      Look, the GDP is happy with the growth of depression meaning a growth of alcohol consumption, and, per broken window fallacy, a growth of alcohol-related medical treatments.

      We could address the problem easily, but selling alcohol multiple times is a lot better for he economy than selling a bullet once.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @09:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @09:55PM (#740476)

        Isn't that why all our economically responsible despondent shooter-types have large clips and poor training? More rounds expended and more non-fatal injuries -- more market opportunities.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @12:47PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @12:47PM (#740131)

    This research is pointless, just beaurocrats justifying their pet project. I think this movie probably depicts it well: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backstabbing_for_Beginners [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @01:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @01:02PM (#740141)

      bureaucrats

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday September 26 2018, @02:39PM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 26 2018, @02:39PM (#740205) Homepage Journal

    3 million deaths is a drop in the bucket, isn't it? http://worldbirthsanddeaths.com/ [worldbirthsanddeaths.com] 4.3 births, and 1.8 deaths every second. Maybe we need a few more breweries? At least some of those drunks die happy!

    --
    Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday September 26 2018, @05:47PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday September 26 2018, @05:47PM (#740339) Journal

      No, it's 5% of all deaths, which is definitely more than a drop in the bucket. Put another way, if someone said only 1 out of every 2,566 people died when jumping off a cliff. Would you jump off the cliff? Now, here's the kicker. Not all of those 2,566 people consumed alcohol. According to the report only 283 million people in the entire population have alcohol related problems. So we divide 283M by 3M and our analogy for cliff jumping gets to something near only 1 out of every 93 or so people died when jumping off a cliff. Would you still jump?

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @04:28PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26 2018, @04:28PM (#740288)

    And how many deaths did alcohol prevent from disease and food poisoning?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/15/health/the-claim-drinking-alcohol-with-a-meal-prevents-food-poisoning.html [nytimes.com]

    In many places around the world, water is far from the safest thing to drink, especially if you're not used to the local germs. You can try boiling water, hot tea or coffee but in hot weather that's often not a pleasant option.

    A single cold beer on the other hand has never given me tummy problems and many times beer (or whisky) has helped "stabilize" the stomach...

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday September 26 2018, @05:59PM

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday September 26 2018, @05:59PM (#740346) Journal

      The problem isn't related to everyone who had a dose of cough syrup. Or even, the people who occasionally have a drink. The problem is the abuse of alcohol. Even the bible promoted the use of Alcohol for medicinal purposes or even just to make the water drinkable. 1 Timothy 5:23 "23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." (Sounds like good old Montezuma's Revenge, before Montezuma was even alive.) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Timothy+5:23&version=KJV [biblegateway.com] The use of Alcohol isn't forbidden. The bible is definitely against using it excessively and in more than one case points out the folly of drunkenness.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27 2018, @05:04AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27 2018, @05:04AM (#740665)

      Then there's all the prevented deaths of my coworkers prevent by my alcohol consumption.

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