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European Health: Majority of Europeans face risk of digestive cancers due to alcohol, report claims – by Sarantis Michalopoulos

A new report has linked alcohol consumption in the EU to an increase in cases of digestive cancer and warned policymakers to take immediate action.

According to the World Health Organisation, some 3.3 million deaths around the world – 5.9% of all premature deaths – result from the harmful use of alcohol each year. Europe has the highest consumption rate of alcohol worldwide.

United European Gastroenterology (UEG) published a report last week, warning that the alarming alcohol consumption in Europe is linked to a rise in digestive cancers.

The report gathered the opinions of leading European digestive cancer specialists and focused on the impact of alcohol on this type of cancer.

UEG President Michael Manns stressed that despite the EU’s efforts to tackle the impact of alcohol on health, consumption remains higher than in the rest of the world and simultaneously, the incidence of alcohol-related digestive cancers is on the rise.

“We urgently require a focused multi-dimensional approach from policy and decision makers to dramatically increase public and healthcare professional awareness of the dangers of alcohol […] and strategies to reduce alcohol intake and the resulting incidence of digestive cancers,” Manns emphasised.

EU citizens consume an average of two alcoholic drinks per day. According to the report, drinkers face a 21% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, in addition to other digestive cancers.

The survey found that all EU countries had a ‘moderate’ average daily intake of alcoholic drinks, meaning between one and four drinks per day. “This places these citizens at a heightened risk of both colorectal and oesophageal cancer,” the report stressed.

Regarding ‘heavy’ drinkers or those who consume four or more drinks per day, the report stressed they were found to be at an increased risk of pancreatic, liver and gastric cancer.
Read more: Majority of Europeans face risk of digestive cancers due to alcohol, report claims –

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