There are economic variations in death due to alcoholism in Europeans.
Alcoholism is linked with socioeconomic inequality in mortality rates in European countries. According to the study, which involved extensive analysis, in some nations, alcoholism is the main reason behind 10% of the differences in male deaths.
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On a global level, three million people die each year from alcohol-related diseases. In Europe, the drinking rates are more prominent among higher socioeconomic groups. However, this is not the only piece of data that has been observed. Binge drinking and other erratic patterns of alcoholism are more or less the norm among lower socioeconomic groups.
Vital information was collected from reported deaths from alcoholic psychosis, dependence and abuse. The markers included: alcoholic cardiomyopathy, alcoholic liver cirrhosis and accidental alcohol poisoning.
The study published this week in PLOS Medicine. The database analysis was conducted by Johan Mackenbach at Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and colleagues.
Over 17 countries of Europe were a part of the study. Those who were not very educated and held jobs involving manual labor had the most cases of deaths from alcohol consumption. The inequalities were greatest in Eastern Europe, Finland and Denmark.
Other places where the inequalities showed up included Hungary, Lithuania and Estonia. Throughout these lands, the lower socioeconomic groups suffered the most mortality rates due to alcohol consumption.
The methods employed to collect the data may inevitably affect the results. To counter these trends, government agencies and social workers need to institute such practices and therapeutic measures that will break the vicious circle of alcoholism.
That is because it has devastating consequences for most of the lower socioeconomic groups in Europe. Policies will need revision and an interventionist approach is of the essence.
The only paradox and mystery of sorts is why such socioeconomic inequalities in alcohol-related deaths have not taken place in France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. The answers to these questions will need more research.
Alcohol has been around for awhile. And drinking to the point of excess is not a modern phenomenon. From the six pack of beer that is consumed in front of the television set by the guzzling man with belly fat to the depressed man in a bar trying to drown his sorrows in shot after shot of whiskey, alcoholism wears many guises.
The solution to alcohol addiction needs to be sought in other directions than a Prohibitionist approach. It is not the presence of alcohol that is the problem. It is the response shown by the imbibers that is the crux of the matter.
That is where the proper education and knowledge of limits needs to be imparted to those who feel they have lost control of their drinking habits.