Ireland is drinking less but Europeans most at risk of alcohol related cancer: report

Europe’s drinking habits are putting its people at a higher risk of cancer, a report by the United European Gastroenterology group has found

The graphic below shows alcohol related cancers and alcohol consumption by continent.

The group analyzed data collated by the WHO, which shows that Europeans drink an average of 11.2 litres of alcohol per year — the equivalent of just under two drinks a day — the threshold that significantly increases the risk of being diagnosed with either bowel or oesophageal cancer.

The UK, alongside Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary typically have 2.1 drinks a day, which equates to 12.3 litres of pure alcohol per year.

Lithuania holds the crown of Europe’s heaviest drinkers, with average consumption of 3.2 drinks a day (18.2 litres of alcohol), followed by the Czech Republic and Romania, whose citizens have 2.4 drinks daily (13.7 litres of alcohol).

Russian per capita drinking rates have fallen from 12.4 litres per year in 2007 to 10.1 litres in 2014.

The WHO attributes almost one in every four deaths from gastrointestinal diseases to alcohol consumption, according to a 2014 report.

There is better news for Ireland, however, with the  World Health Organization reporting  that Ireland’s consumption has decreased significantly in recent years.

Ireland consumed an average of 14.4 litres of alcohol between 2003-2005. The average decreased to 11.9 litres between 2008-2010

WHO also report that there is more alcohol dependence and harmful use in males than females in Ireland.

10.9% of males showed alcohol use disorders over a 12 month period while there were only 3.4% of females.


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