Dangerous alcohol consumption was responsible for 3.3 million deaths worldwide in 2012, according to a new World Health Organization report Monday.
Harmful alcohol use not only leads to addiction, but it can put people at a higher risk of over 200 disorders like tuberculosis and pneumonia.
“This actually translates into one death every 10 seconds,” Shekhar Saxena, head of the WHO’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse department, told reporters in Geneva, Global Post reports.
On average, every person in the world age 15 and older drinks 6.2 liters of pure alcohol a year, according to the report. However, less than half the world’s population drinks any alcohol, which means people who do drink average about 17 liters of pure alcohol a year. Men are more likely than women to experience alcohol-related deaths—though drinking among women is on the rise—and low-income communities are at a greater risk for social and health complications related to alcohol, the report said.
The report shows that 16% of drinkers partake in binge drinking, which is the most dangerous form of alcohol consumption. Europe has the highest alcohol consumption per capita, though consumption levels have been stable there for the last five years. Consumption has remained stable in Africa and in the Americas, but it appears to be rising in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific regions, according to WHO. China is estimated to grow its per capita consumption by 1.5 liters of pure alcohol by 2025.
The WHO says it would like to see a voluntary global target of a 10% reduction in harmful alcohol use by 2025.
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