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19/03/2013

The WHO 2012 European health report confirms alcohol as 1 of the 2 main risk factors in Europe

Consumption of alcohol across European population remains dangerously high, in spite of the knowledge how to tackle it.

Like its predecessors, the 2012 European health report describes both the overall improvements in health in the WHO European Region and their uneven distribution within and between countries. It breaks new ground, however, by helping both to define well-being, a goal of Europe’s new health policy, Health 2020, and to map the way towards achieving it.

The report also highlights that among the major groups of diseases causing high mortality, morbidity and disability – such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, external causes of death, respiratory system diseases and digestive diseases, as noted above – the two main risk factors to tackle are tobacco smoking and harmful alcohol consumption. Prevalence and consumption levels of these two factors among the European population remain high across the Region, in spite of the availability of knowledge and technology to control them.

Alcohol consumption is a factor that determines the frequency of health problems, and according to WHO estimates it accounts for nearly 6.5% of all deaths in Europe. In addition to volume, the type of alcohol consumed and patterns of binge drinking are also relevant, due to their potential effects on health.

Source: World Health Organisation

Read more about the 2012 European health report