A narrative review of alcohol consumption as a risk factor for global burden of disease

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2016 Oct 28;11(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s13011-016-0081-2.


Since the original Comparative Risk Assessment (CRA) for alcohol consumption as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study for 1990, there had been regular updates of CRAs for alcohol from the World Health Organization and/or the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. These studies have become more and more refined with respect to establishing causality between dimensions of alcohol consumption and different disease and mortality (cause of death) outcomes, refining risk relations, and improving the methodology for estimating exposure and alcohol-attributable burden. The present review will give an overview on the main results of the CRAs with respect to alcohol consumption as a risk factor, sketch out new trends and developments, and draw implications for future research and policy.

Keywords: Alcohol; Average level of consumption; Burden of disease; Cause of death; Comparative risk assessment; Global; Patterns of drinking; Relative risk.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / mortality*
  • Cause of Death
  • Global Burden of Disease / statistics & numerical data*
  • Global Burden of Disease / trends*
  • Health Policy / trends*
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors