Adults in Malta consume between one and two alcoholic drinks every day, a study published in world-renowned medical journal The Lancet has found.
Drinkers’ prevalence was notably higher in Malta than the global average, which, according to the researchers, stood at 32.5 per cent in 2016.
The study found that 25 per cent of women were current drinkers while the figure went up to 39 per cent for men.
The figures, published as part of a study that evaluated the impact of alcohol use and its burden in 195 countries, show that both men and women were found to have, on average, consumed at least one alcoholic beverage a day in the period under review.
The researchers looked at trends related to alcohol use and its impact on the different countries between 1990 and 2016, looking at the situation for both sexes.
They defined an alcoholic drink as one that contains 10 grams of pure ethanol per serving, the amount found in a glass of wine.
According to the study, between 60 and 79.9 per cent of both men and women were found to be ‘current drinkers’ in 2016, meaning they had consumed alcohol during that year.
The researchers noted that current drinking “varied considerably” by location, with prevalence being higher in those countries with high a socio-demographic index. The index is a summary measure of overall development, based on educational attainment, fertility and income per capita within a location.
The researchers concluded that alcohol use was a “leading risk factor” for global disease burden and caused “substantial health loss”.
“The risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption. The level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero,” the study shows.
“These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption.”