A new study published by researchers in the Netherlands reveals Europe has the highest and lowest levels of alcohol mortality in the World. This disparity is thought to be due to social and economic differences between the populations of various European Member States.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Researchers analysed data concerning alcohol-related deaths in 17 European countries. Causes of death varied from cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol abuse and cardiomyopathy, amongst others.
The data included details on the occupational class and educational level of those who died from an alcohol-related illness.
Researchers also analysed cause-of-death data contained in the literature reviews. This data also contained information on the deceased’s’ occupation and level of education.
The data reports that those who were members of lower socioeconomic groups experienced the highest levels of binge drinking and alcohol-related illnesses. This is despite the fact that those in higher socioeconomic groups drank more than their poorer and less educated counterparts.
People who live in old ‘Eastern bloc’ countries are most likely to suffer from poor alcohol-related health. These countries include Hungary and Estonia, but also Scandinavian countries such as Denmark and Finland. Males in these countries are most affected by poor alcohol-related health.
Researchers also point out cultural differences between northern and southern Europe. For instance, people living around the Mediterranean restrict their drinking to meal times, whilst binge drinking is more common in northern and eastern European countries.
Furthermore, people living in Eastern European countries are more likely to drink low-quality alcohol that contains dangerous chemicals such as methanol.