Excessive alcohol use in America caused 79,000 deaths annually between 2001 – 2005, according to the CDC. But Americans don’t drink as excessively as many other countries.
Worldwide excessive alcohol consumption kills 2.5 million people annually, according to a 2011 report released by the World Health organisation.
Kazakhstan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, South Africa and Ukraine have the riskiest patterns of drinking while major European countries, Australia and North America have some of the least risky consumption patterns.
Spirits account for 45% of total alcohol consumption around the world while beer accounts for about 36% of global alcohol consumption.
In 2005, per capita consumption by people over 15 equaled 6.13 of pure alcohol, about 29% of this was illegally produced. The Northern Hemisphere along with Argentina, Australia and New Zealand have the highest consumption levels.
Alcohol consumption has been on the rise in South-East Asian countries like India and Vietnam and in African countries like Algeria, Ethiopia and Namibia.
45% of the global population has never consumed alcohol. Interestingly countries like India, Vietnam, Algeria and Ethiopia, which have seen adult per capita consumption (APC) on the rise, also have the highest number of abstainers. Countries with predominantly Muslim populations also have the highest number of abstainers.
The maximum permissible BAC for drivers in most countries is between 0.05% to 0.08%, while 24 countries have no limits. Australia, Croatia, Germany, Tanzania are some of the countries with a zero tolerance policy on blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for young drivers.
3.8% of all global deaths in 2004 were attributable to alcohol these include cardiovascular diseases, liver cirrhosis, intentional and unintentional injuries, liver cirrhosis, neuropsychiatric disorders and cancer. Alcohol related deaths are highest in the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries where it accounts for the death of one-in-five men. Alcohol related deaths are also on the rise in middle-income countries like China and Brazil.
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