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New Resource: Alcohol and NCDs – Harm and Solutions

New Resource: Alcohol and NCDs – Harm and Solutions

IOGT International has released a brand new resource to illustrate how alcohol fuels the global NCDs tsunami – based on latest scientific evidence – and to outline cost-effective solutions for change.

ALCOHOL USE: FUELING THE NCDs TSUNAMI

Alcohol-related cancers, CVDs, digestive diseases, diabetes, mental ill-health and solutions for change

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 brand new 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 new 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)

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.

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