WHO Report: Alcohol Responsible for Nearly Three Million Deaths Annually

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that alcohol-related deaths continue to claim nearly three million lives each year, describing the death rate as “unacceptably high” despite a slight decline in recent years.

In its latest report on alcohol and health, the United Nations health agency highlighted that alcohol is responsible for nearly one in 20 deaths globally each year.

These fatalities are caused by factors such as drink driving, alcohol-induced violence and abuse, and a range of diseases and disorders.

According to the report, alcohol consumption accounted for 2.6 million deaths in 2019, representing 4.7 percent of all deaths worldwide that year. It also noted that nearly three-quarters of these deaths were among men.

“Substance use severely harms individual health, increasing the risk of chronic diseases, mental health conditions, and tragically resulting in millions of preventable deaths every year,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He acknowledged that there has been “some reduction in alcohol consumption and related harm worldwide since 2010,” but emphasized that “the health and social burden due to alcohol use remains unacceptably high.”

The report underscored that younger people are disproportionately affected by alcohol-related deaths. In 2019, the highest proportion of alcohol-attributable deaths—13 percent—occurred among individuals aged 20 to 39.

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