Canadians are said to consume 50% more alcohol than the global average.
The study says that alcohol is now the third leading cause of the global burden of disease and injury, despite the fact most adults worldwide abstain from drinking.
The research was a part of the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study and was published in March 2013 issue of the journal Addiction.
"Alcohol consumption has been found to cause more than 200 different diseases and injuries," Kevin Shield, the lead author of the study said. "These include not only well-known outcomes of drinking such as liver cirrhosis or traffic accidents, but also several types of cancer, such as female breast cancer."
The study report reveals the amount and patterns of alcohol consumption by country for 2005, and also provides estimates of figures for 2010. The study says there is a vast difference by geographical region in the number of people who consume alcohol; the amount they drink and general patterns of drinking.
Key findings of the study:
- Drinkers in Europe and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa are the world's heaviest consumers of alcohol, on average.
- People in Eastern Europe and Southern Sub-Saharan Africa consumed alcohol in the unhealthiest manner, as they frequently consumed large quantities, drank to intoxication, engaged in prolonged binges, and consumed alcohol mainly outside of meals.
- People in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia consumed the least amount of alcohol.
- North Americans in general, and Canadians in particular drink more than 50 percent above the global average, and show a more detrimental drinking pattern than most EU countries, with more bingeing
The study also found that about 30 percent of alcohol consumed in 2005 was unrecorded alcohol - referring to alcohol not intended for consumption; home-brewed or illegally produced alcohol.
"The amount of unrecorded alcohol consumed is a particular problem, as its consumption is not impacted by public health alcohol policies, such as taxation, which can moderate consumption," Dr. Jurgen Rehm, a study author and director of CAMH's Social and Epidemiological Research Department said.
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