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Say no to drinking alcohol and stay healthy

Prime News, Health, Mysuru, October 4:- Alcohol consumption alone can lead to several risk factors of the health including liver disorders, non-communicable diseases infectious diseases and injuries. Nearly 230 codes in International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems – 10th revision (ICD-10) relates to alcohol consumption either directly or indirectly, as alcohol has toxic effects on diverse organs and tissues of the body. Unprotected sex under the influence of alcohol may lead to either diseases or unwanted pregnancy.

It may delay recognition of pregnancy as a result the fetus may get exposed to alcohol, which may have a negative impact on the fetus like spontaneous abortion, premature birth, stillbirth, chromosomal abnormality, low birth weight due to intrauterine growth retardation. It may also lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) due to damage in central nervous system, which manifests physical, mental and behavioural features and learning disabilities with lifelong implications.

Globally, drinking during pregnancy resulted in FASD in 77.3 per 10,000 people. Alcohol consumption shown to increase tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS, lower respiratory infections (through unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners) due to suppression of immune system. Even viral hepatitis is increasing in alcohol consumers.

Alcohol is known factor for non-infectious liver diseases, alcoholic hepatitis, steatosis, fibrosis, steatohepatitis, liver cirrhosis with high mortality and the number of persons with alcoholic liver diseases is increasing at an alarming rate in China over a period of time. High alcohol consumption has been shown to increase the risk of hypertensive heart disease, ischaemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, haemorrhagic and other non-ischaemic strokes, various cancers (oropharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast) with a higher risk for females than males.

World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ICD-11 included 11 four digit diagnostic categories for mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders associated with alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of suicide attempt by seven times soon after drinking alcohol and increase to 37 times after a heavy drink.  Alcohol-attributable suicides are at 18% of all suicides. Heavy drinking may lead to homicide, intoxication, injuries, alcohol poisoning (increased heartbeat, gag reflex, coma, and death), violence, road accidents due to drink driving, etc.

Hence, reducing the harmful use of alcohol (thorough consumption) is very important in achieving the health targets of several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 as the burden of consumption of alcohol is great and widely distributed across the globe. Hence, individuals need to take a call on consumption of alcohol either at limited or unlimited doses. (Dr S V N Vijayendra)

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