Is there a benefit to alcohol consumption or is there a health risk? The Global Burden of Disease Study examined this question from data from 1990 to 2016. The results were published and there were some revealing numbers. Among ages 15- 49, alcohol was the number one cause of disability adjusted life years and the leading cause of death, accounting for 10% of deaths at this age group. I found this surprising. What is more shocking is that among all age groups, 2.8 million deaths worldwide were linked to alcohol use.

Where you live does make a difference. In 2016 more than 2 billion people consumed alcohol and 63 % were male. Iran and Palestine have the lowest death rates from alcohol whereas Russia and Central Africa Republic have the highest death rates.

Other diseases associated with alcohol use were cardiovascular, specific cancers and TB.

I do believe it is the practitioners duty or rather responsibility to stop promoting drinking for health benefits. I do NOT think abstinence from alcohol is unrealistic. I think more physicians need to discuss alcohol with their patients. I also feel physicians should have more knowledge about 12 step support groups as Alcoholic Anonymous (AA), Al a Non, and ACOA ( Adult Children of Alcoholics )

Until tomorrow…