Home > Alcohol use: fueling the NCDs tsunami. Alcohol-related cancers, CVDs, digestive diseases, diabetes, mental ill-health and solutions for change.

IOGT International. (2019) Alcohol use: fueling the NCDs tsunami. Alcohol-related cancers, CVDs, digestive diseases, diabetes, mental ill-health and solutions for change. Stockholm: IOGT.

PDF (Alcohol and NCDs)

Alcohol is a major obstacle to sustainable development, adversely affecting 13 of 17 SDGs. And alcohol is a major risk factor for Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including mental ill-health. Alcohol consumption caused an estimated 1.7 million NCD deaths in 2016. There is a strong link between alcohol and NCDs, particularly cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), digestive diseases and diabetes, as well as mental ill-health.

The fact sheet presents latest scientific evidence about the global and regional burden of alcohol-related cancers, CVDs, digestive diseases, diabetes and mental ill-health.
• 4.2% of all cancer deaths are attributable to alcohol, with Europe and the Americas carrying the biggest burden.
• 3.3% of all CVD deaths are caused by alcohol, with Europe and Africa carrying the heaviest burden.
• 25.2% of all digestive disease deaths are alcohol-attributable, with Africa bearing the biggest burden. Worldwide, 283 million people aged 15+ years had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and are at risk of alcohol-associated liver disease.
• 5.1% of adults worldwide suffered from an AUD and alcohol dependence (the most severe form of AUD) occurred in 2.6% of people of aged 15+ years in 2016. The regions with the heaviest burden are Europe and the Americas.

Policy solutions are available and proven:
The Alcohol and NCDs resource also highlights evidence for proven interventions that are effective in reducing and preventing alcohol-related NCDs. The global NCDs epidemic can be reversed through implementation of evidence-based, cost-effective and high-impact public policy measures: among others the alcohol policy best buys.
1. Increase excise taxes on alcoholic beverages
2. Enact and enforce bans or comprehensive restrictions on exposure to alcohol advertising (across multiple types of media)
3. Enact and enforce restrictions on the physical availability of retailed alcohol (via reduced hours of sale)
4. Implementation of the alcohol policy best buys promises quick gains across the NCDs fueled by alcohol use. For example, a $1 investment in the alcohol policy best buys yields a return of $9.

Technical assistance for WHO member states in the formulation and implementation of the alcohol best buys is made available by WHO through the SAFER initiative and technical package.

Item Type:FactSheet
Date:May 2019
Corporate Creators:IOGT International
Place of Publication:Stockholm
Related URLs:
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Effects and consequences
B Substances > Alcohol
G Health and disease > Public health
G Health and disease > Pathologic process > Cancer
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on substance use
VA Geographic area > International aspects

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