Burden of Disease Due to Alcohol and Alcohol Related Research

  • R. Rajendram
  • G. Lewison
  • V. R. Preedy
Reference work entry


Ethanol is one of the most commonly used recreational drugs worldwide. Whilst alcohol may have some beneficial effects, it is responsible for 4% of the global burden of disease.  Alcohol-related research (ARR) is a multidisciplinary specialty with the fundamental aim of improving the lives and health of those who consume alcohol. When the worldwide literature published during 1992–2003 was reviewed we found that there were relatively few ARR publications. Biomedical research and the global disease burden due to alcohol both increased whilst the number of papers from ARR remained static. Nearly 58% of all ARR papers were from centers in Canada and the United States. A further 30% were from Western Europe and 10% originated from Australia, New Zealand or Japan. The rest of the world contributed to only 3% of all ARR publications. There is thus a need for greater interest in ARR in the developing world. The estimated annual expenditure on ARR published in 2001 was $730 million (between $12 and $13 per DALY). This represents 0.7% of the expenditure on global biomedical research.

Despite the decline in ARR, from 1993 to 2003 there has been substantial progress in treatment and strategies to reduce the GBD due to alcohol. Policies to reduce overall levels of drinking and the rates of some alcohol-related problems have been identified through research and implemented effectively. Examples include increasing the price of alcohol through taxation and campaigns against driving under the influence of alcohol. However, research does not offer much guidance on successful ways of changing patterns of drinking, other than with unpalatable measures such as prohibition or alcohol rationing. Alcohol-related research is necessary, cost-effective and could significantly reduce the GBD due to alcohol. Increasing ARR is therefore likely to benefit society as a whole.


Science Citation Index Alcohol Misuse Social Science Citation Index Disability Weight Regional Contribution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


alcohol-related research


global burden of disease


International Organization for Standardization


National Institutes of Health


Medical Research Council of Canada


United Kingdom


Regional Burden of Disease


Regional Burden of Disease Due to Alcohol


 relative commitment


research level


 science citation index


 social sciences citation index


worldwide alcohol-related research


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Rajendram
  • G. Lewison
  • V. R. Preedy

There are no affiliations available

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