June 16, 2021

How Inserm wants to reduce the burden of alcohol in France, whose “mortality is higher than elsewhere in Europe”

The leading cause of hospitalization in France, alcohol causes 41,000 deaths per year, including 30,000 in men. “Mortality attributable to alcohol is higher in France than elsewhere in Europe”, recalls Inserm. These data are presented in the collective expert appraisal “Reduction of damage associated with alcohol consumption”, made public on Friday June 4. After a critical analysis of 3,600 documents, the authors make three main recommendations: tighten regulations, intensify prevention messages and systematically screen, with better monitoring.

Read also the archive (2019): Alcohol-related mortality is on the decline

In 2017, Public Health France had set benchmarks for lower risk consumption: no more than two glasses of alcohol per day and ten glasses per week. “So we need days without consumption”, underlines Guillaume Airagnes, psychiatrist and addictologist at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital (HEGP) in Paris. But, in France, the average consumption is nearly three glasses per day per adult.

“About 23% of the population [adulte] would have a one-off risk consumption and around 7% a chronic risk consumption or one presenting the possibility of dependence », Summarizes the expertise. 24% of men and 9% of adult women are at risk of drinking. Among 18-35 year olds, these rates concern 30.7% of men and 12.9% of women. And among those over 50, 35 to 37% of men and 13 to 14% of women. At any age, “We are less in chronic consumption and more in occasional and massive alcoholizations [“binge drinking”] », emphasizes Guillaume Airagnes.

Read also Binge drinking affects all generations

Women who are biologically more vulnerable

Alcohol is “A drug, a carcinogenic molecule that is toxic to many organs, (…), directly or indirectly responsible for around sixty diseases “, Write the experts. Women have a greater biological vulnerability. Of the 41,000 deaths attributable to alcohol, 16,000 are linked to cancer, 9,900 to cardiovascular diseases, 6,800 to digestive diseases, 5,400 to an external cause (accident or suicide) and more than 3 000 to another pathology (mental illnesses, behavioral disorders, etc.). Otherwise, “More than half of people who have problems with alcohol have cognitive problems”, indicates Guillaume Airagnes. Which also specifies: “Half of alcohol-related damage is in people who are not addicted. “

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