The consumption of alcohol is responsible for one in 10 deaths in Europe, a report has said.
A study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, found that one in 25 deaths worldwide was attributed to drink, while it accounted for 5% of years lived with disability around the world.
The average global alcohol consumption is around 12 units per person per week, according to research published in the Lancet medical journal.
Two units of alcohol is equivalent to a pint of mild beer or a large glass of wine.
Europeans drink almost twice the world average, at 21.5 units a week, while the average US citizen consumes 18 units.
The study said that in 2004 - the latest year for which global figures were available - 3.8% of all deaths around the world were attributable to drinking alcohol, or one in 25.
The proportion of men suffering alcohol-related deaths stood at 6.3% - much higher than the figure for women at 1.8%.
Most deaths involving alcohol were the result of injuries, cancer, heart disease and liver cirrhosis.
Lead author Dr Jurgen Rehm wrote: ‘We face a large and increasing alcohol-attributable burden at a time when we know more than ever about which strategies can effectively and cost-effectively control alcohol related harms.’