One in 25 deaths across the world are linked to alcohol consumption, Canadian experts have suggested.
Worldwide, average alcohol consumption is around 12 units a week - but in Europe that soars to 21.5. The report authors warn the effect of alcohol disease is similar to that of smoking a decade ago. The analysis also found that 5% of years lived with disability are attributable to alcohol consumption.
The paper says that, although there have been some benefits of moderate drinking in relation to cardiovascular disease, these are far outweighed by the detrimental effects of alcohol on disease and injury.
In addition to diseases directly caused by drinking, such as liver disorders, a wide range of other conditions such as mouth and throat cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, depression and stroke are linked to drinking.
Drinking patterns do vary around the world, and the researchers point out that most of the adult population - 45% of men and 66% of women - abstain from drinking alcohol for most of them for their life.
Across the Americas, average consumption is 17 units per week, while the Middle East was the lowest at 1.3 units per week.