Key facts on alcohol-related deaths globally 2018

It is estimated that alcohol-related deaths account for around five percent of all deaths worldwide. Alcohol has been proven to increase the risk of death from various diseases including certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease. The countries with the highest per capita consumption of alcohol include Moldova, Lithuania, Czechia, and Nigeria.

Causes of death

The most common causes of alcohol-related death worldwide include digestive diseases, unintentional injuries, and cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. As of 2016, around 21 percent of all alcohol-related deaths were due to digestive diseases. In fact, alcohol was the cause of death in one quarter of all deaths from digestive diseases.

Alcohol use disorders

The abuse of alcohol remains a problem in many parts of the world. The region of the Americas is estimated to have the highest prevalence of alcohol dependence worldwide, with around four percent of the population aged 15 years and older dependent on alcohol. Males are more prone to harmful alcohol use and alcohol dependence, with around four percent of males using alcohol at harmful levels compared to just one percent of females.

Key facts on alcohol-related deaths worldwide as of 2018

Number of deaths per year (in millions)3
Percentage of all deaths (%)5.3
Percentage of total disease and injury burden (%)5.1
Percentage of all deaths among 20-39 year-olds (%)13.5
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Release date

September 2018



Survey time period

As of 2018

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Statistics on "Alcohol and health"

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