Eastern Europe and the countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union have the highest rates of alcohol consumption in the world, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The group said that harmful use of alcohol results in the death of 2.5 million people annually around the world (more than AIDS or tuberculosis), causing illness and injury to many more, and increasingly affects younger generations and drinkers in developing countries.

“Many countries recognize the serious public health problems caused by the harmful use of alcohol and have taken steps to prevent the health and social burdens and treat those in need of care. But clearly much more needs to be done to reduce the loss of life and suffering associated with harmful alcohol use,” said Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.

Also, according to WHO data, almost 4 percent of all deaths are related to alcohol. Most alcohol-related deaths are caused by alcohol result from injuries, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and liver cirrhosis.
Globally, 6.2 percent of all male deaths are related to alcohol, compared to 1.1 percent of female deaths.
In the Russian Federation and neighboring countries, one-in-five men die of alcohol-related causes.

The WHO’s data covers the year 2005 and measures alcohol consumption by the equivalent number of litres of pure alcohol annually consumed per capita.