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Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 1516-4446On-line version ISSN 1809-452X


MELONI, José Nino  and  LARANJEIRA, Ronaldo. The social and health burden of alcohol abuse. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2004, vol.26, suppl.1, pp.7-10. ISSN 1516-4446.

Based on the recent report on alcohol-related health and social burdens issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), this paper explores and discusses the evidence in support of the view that concerns about alcohol consumption extend far beyond consideration of personal and family health consequences, but should be considered in the context of major socio-political and public health priorities. The global findings of the WHO report are first discussed, followed by analysis of the specific findings regarding the burden of alcohol problems in Brazil. The social burden of alcohol problems is quantified by applying a unifying methodology which incorporates outcomes for alcohol-related violence, family problems, child abuse, public disorder, lost productivity, and other consequences. By analyzing the epidemiological date on alcohol-related morbidity and mortality data from each continental region and sub-region, and cross-tabulating data on average consumed volume and patterns of consumption, the burden of disease are estimated for the various regions of the world. The final results provide a comparative analysis of risk, basically using a representative indicator of number of productive years lost because of illness or premature mortality due to alcohol consumption ("DALYs" - Disability Adjusted Life Years). The DALYs global value in 2000 was 4% of world mortality, with this rate predicted to increase as global alcohol consumption increases. Variations among various regions in the planet are critically analyzed on predictive factors.

Keywords : Alcoholic beverages; Alcohol drinking; Attributable risk; Prevention & control.

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