CHA News Article

Study Finds Alcohol Use a Leading Risk Factor for Global Disease Burden

A new study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and released in The Lancet finds that alcohol use is the leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. According to researchers, the risk of all-cause mortality — specifically of cancers — rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimizes health loss is zero. The analysis relied on 694 data sources of individual and population-level alcohol consumption, along with 592 prospective and retrospective studies on the risk of alcohol use. The data were used to estimate the prevalence of current drinking, abstention, the number of drinks consumed daily among current drinkers, alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted years of life. Globally, alcohol was the seventh leading risk factor for both death and disability, accounting for 2.2 percent of female deaths and 6.8 percent of male deaths.