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Movendi, Media Release - October 2020 

Movendi International statement in reaction to latest findings of the Global Burden of Disease study 2019

The Global Burden of Disease study for 2019 led by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation and published in The Lancet has found that failure in tackling preventable non-communicable diseases has made the world more vulnerable to COVID-19. The study also highlights worrying data about alcohol’s contribution to the global burden of disease.

While global healthy life expectancy – the number of years a person can expect to have good health – has increased between 1990 and 2019, it has not risen as much as overall life expectancy in 198 of the 204 countries assessed. This indicates that people are living more years in poor health.

Disability, rather than early death, has become an increasingly large share of the global disease burden – rising from around a fifth (21%) of total burden in 1990 to more than a third (34%) in 2019.

Over the past decade, large and worrying increases have been noted in exposure to several highly preventable risks including alcohol use, other drug use, obesity and high blood sugar. These risks contribute heavily to the growing NCD burden in the world.

Alcohol remains one of the leading risk factors contributing to the global burden of disease.

  • Alcohol is the eighth leading preventable risk factor for disease.
  • The contribution of alcohol to the global disease burden has been increasing year by year from 2.6% of DALYs* in 1990 to 3.7% of DALYs in 2019. 
  • In high income countries alcohol use is the second fasted growing risk factor and in LMICs it is the fourth fastest rising risk factor.
  • Alcohol is the second largest risk factor for disease burden in the age group 10-24 years.
  • Alcohol is the largest risk factor for disease burden in the group 25-49 years.

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Evidence on alcohol consumption as a risk factor for dementia usually relates to overall consumption. The role of alcohol-induced loss of consciousness is uncertain.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the risk of future dementia associated with overall alcohol consumption and alcohol-induced loss of consciousness in a population of current drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The findings of this study suggest that alcohol-induced loss of consciousness, irrespective of overall alcohol consumption, is associated with a subsequent increase in the risk of dementia.

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About half (51 per cent) reported that there has been an increase in the involvement of alcohol in family violence situations since the COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, while 40 per cent said alcohol’s involvement had not changed and none of the respondents reported decreased involvement.

Current issues with alcohol use and family violence identified included: » increased alcohol use because of changed circumstances » alcohol use increasing verbal and physical abuse » alcohol adding to financial strain on the family.

FARE Report May 2020

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Moderate alcohol use is associated with neuronal changes in both males and females suggesting health risks that should not be overlooked. We found a direct association between moderate alcohol consumption and decreased brain volume at early middle-age in both males and females. Understanding of the mechanisms of moderate drinking on the brain is incomplete, but even moderate alcohol consumption may have a harmful effect already in middle-age. Recent systematic analysis on alcohol use and global disease burden suggests that the level of consumption that minimizes health loss is zero 31. The risk that even moderate drinking poses on the brain should not be overlooked

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You may not think a small glass of wine could help cause you to pile on the pounds, but new research has linked less than one alcoholic drink a day to obesity.

The National Medical Centre in Seoul found that just half a glass of wine or a small bottle of beer a day can lead to metabolic syndrome – a mix of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Scientists from the National Medical Centre in Seoul looked at nearly 27 million adults, more than half the population of South Korea.

They found men who drank as little as 7g of pure alcohol, around half a glass of wine or bottle of beer, a day were up to 10% more likely to be obese.

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