Alcohol significantly impacts health. Globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that harmful use of alcohol results in 3.3 million deaths every year, representing 5.9% of all deaths, and that alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions. Overall 5.1% of the global burden of disease and injury is attributable to alcohol, as measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

Alcohol consumption causes death and disability relatively early in life, and there are gender differences in alcohol-related mortality, morbidity, as well as levels and patterns of alcohol consumption.

The impact of alcohol consumption on health outcomes in populations is largely determined by two separate but related dimensions of drinking: 1) the total volume of alcohol consumed; and 2) the pattern of drinking. In addition, there is evidence that a nation's alcohol consumption directly impacts on the health of its citizens.

Resources available on this page:

  • Frequently Asked Questions about 'Health', with infographics presenting the most up-to-date statistics on the subject
  • Factsheets providing an in depth perspective on the subject of 'Health'
  • Publications, Blogs, and News tagged 'Health' for further reading

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the physical and mental effects of drinking alcohol?
What is the Public Health England definition of alcohol mortality?
How many people die from alcohol in England and Wales?
What is the UK alcohol mortality rate, by sex and by age? (ONS)
What is the UK alcohol mortality rate, by nation? (ONS)
What is the main cause of deaths from alcohol in the UK?*
How many alcohol-related hospital admissions are there in England and Wales?
How many alcohol-related hospital admissions are there in Scotland?
How many alcohol-related hospital admissions are there in Northern Ireland?

Publications (View all)

IAS response to consultation on revised WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan

IAS response to consultation on revised WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan

August 2021
March 2021 Budget Analysis

March 2021 Budget Analysis

April 2021
IAS response to Public Health England consultation on proposed changes to the calculation of alcohol-related mortality and hospital admissions

IAS response to Public Health England consultation on proposed changes to the calculation of alcohol-related mortality and hospital admissions

March 2021

Blogs (View all)

News (View all)