Alcohol is responsible for 60% of the diseases across the world, according to the Center for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs' Professor Robin Room. About 4.4% of deaths are accounted for by high blood pressure, and another 4.1% by tobacco. Alcohol is also responsible for as many deaths as blood pressure and smoking, and the licensing laws have reportedly failed to take note of this fact.
The study looks at diseases, including cancers of the mouth, liver and breast, heart disease, stroke and cirrhosis, in which alcohol can play a role. It also highlights the role of alcohol in car accidents, drowning, falls and poisoning. Alcohol is also linked to a proportion of self-inflicted injuries and murders.
Using data on alcohol cost and British alcohol-related mortality information, the researchers estimate that increasing the price of alcohol by 10% would produce a 7% drop in deaths from cirrhosis of the liver in men and an 8.3% drop in deaths in women.
Restricting the availability of alcohol by reducing the hours that pubs and shops can sell it would also affect the rates of alcohol-related harm, he said.