How harmful is alcohol for health can be, is already known for years. Nevertheless, more and more drunk, the result of an international study in the journal “The Lancet is the world”. The analysis of data from 189 countries, found that the alcohol consumption of the world’s population increased from 1990 to 2017, by 70 percent.

The cause of growth and higher consumption per head according to the study, the population. However, there were large regional differences: While the consumption of alcohol in China, India, and Vietnam clearly stronger grew, it decreased in Eastern European countries. In Germany, the researchers observed a Stagnation with a slightly decreasing Trend.

Traffic accidents, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are only a part of the causes of death that are directly or indirectly associated with alcohol. According to the world health organization (WHO) in 2016 every 20. The event of death in the world. That’s why the WHO had proclaimed the goal to reduce the abusive alcohol consumption by 2018 by 2025 by ten percent – a goal that is missed the study authors reported that probably.

“Instead, the alcohol will remain one of the main risk factors for predictable diseases, and its effects are likely to increase relative to other risk factors,” explains Jakob Manthey from the Institute for Clinical psychology and psychotherapy (IKPP) of the TU Dresden in a study published communication.

17 litres of pure alcohol per capita

For the study, the research team analysed data on alcohol consumption of people between the ages of 15 to 99 years, from 189 countries. They considered the years 1990, 2010 and 2017 and projected therefrom, and also the development for the year 2030. The scientists found that 2017 was consumed in North African countries as well as countries in the Middle East, at least while it was in Central and Eastern Europe the most. The highest increase since 2010, but has been observed with 34 percent in the economically emerging Southeast Asia.

In Detail, the Eastern European Moldova to 2017 with 15 litres of pure alcohol per person had the highest consumption. At the least, it was drunk in the predominantly Muslim Kuwait, per capita, there were less than 0.005 liters. The different Figures and developments of the scientists on factors such as Religion, health policy, and economic growth. Especially, the economic growth seems to have this effect, as the examples of China and India show, where the alcohol has doubled consumption between 1990 and 2017, approximately.

Southeast Asia is catching up

Global drank, the study found that in 1990 each person in the section 5.9 litres equivalent of pure alcohol. By 2017, this consumption increased to 6.5 liters. For the arrangement: half A Liter of beer contains about 20 grams of pure alcohol. In Germany or decreased the Numbers according to the study, however,: have Been drinking stagnated in 1990, this country is still 16,32 litres of pure alcohol, in 2017, only 13,05 Liter. By 2030, scientists predict a consumption of 11.63 liters.

“Our study provides a comprehensive Overview of the changing landscape of the global alcohol consumption,” sums up psychologist Manthey. “Before 1990, most of the alcohol in high-income countries was consumed with the highest Levels in Europe. This pattern has changed significantly, with strong reductions in Eastern Europe and tremendous growth in several middle-income countries, such as China, India and Vietnam.” This Trend is expected to continue until 2030, so that Europe will then have the highest alcohol consumption, Manthey.

Appeal for a stricter drug policy

A further observation of the study: The number of life-long abstainers has remained approximately stable. In 2017, 43 percent of the world’s population lived free of alcohol. Just as stable, the proportion of heavy drinkers remained, however, the were two years ago, the global 20 percent. The researchers estimate in their study that these data are unlikely to change, however, the amount of alcohol consumed will grow stronger as the number of drinkers – with corresponding health consequences.

In a comment to the study, which was also published in The Lancet, warn that the Addiction doctor Sarah Callinan of the Australian La Trobe University and Michael Livingston from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, however, to enjoy the advance of the study to say with caution. So accurate forecasts to alcohol consumption, and economic growth very difficult to. Nevertheless, countries with low and middle incomes should adjust their drug policy, as is to be expected here, thus, is that people drink more in the future. Examples from high-income countries have shown that higher prices or a reduction in the availability could be effective, write Callinan and Livingston. At the same time prohibitions or restrictions on meaningful measures of advertising – also against the resistance of the industry.