Around 16 percent of men and 11 percent of women who drink alcohol weekly consume risky amounts. The new alcohol atlas shows that around 20,000 people in Germany develop cancer because of their alcohol consumption.
Whether it’s a beer after work, a birthday champagne toast or a nightcap after dinner – we Germans always find a plausible reason to consume alcohol in everyday life. The consumption of the liquid intoxicant has serious health consequences that are still underestimated in society: According to estimates by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), 20,000 people develop cancer every year as a result of their alcohol consumption. This emerges from the Alcohol Atlas 2022, which was published by the DKFZ on Monday as part of the National Cancer Prevention Week.
According to the report, more than 8,000 cancer deaths nationwide in 2022 – around 6,200 in men and 2,100 in women – were attributable to alcohol consumption. This corresponds to around six percent of all cancer deaths in men and around three percent in women. Most alcohol-related deaths occur between the ages of 20 and 50.
“A little glass of red wine here and there, that’s even healthy!” For a long time, the thesis was popular that alcohol in small amounts is good for our health and can even protect us from certain cardiovascular diseases. Kathrin Schaller from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg now vehemently contradicts this assumption: “This effect is more than offset by the harmful effects of alcohol on other organs”. That is why it is advisable with regard to cancer prevention to even completely do without the stimulant.
According to the report, the risk of developing cancer increases with increasing amounts and frequency of intake of the cytotoxin. Even low alcohol consumption of up to 12.5 grams of alcohol per day increases the risk of developing cancer in
If you consume more than 50 grams of alcohol per day, the likelihood of
For comparison: just one glass, i.e. 0.3 liters of beer, contains around 10 to 12 grams of alcohol.
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Another result of the investigations: alcohol abuse is a problem in all regions and classes. In particular, the consumer behavior of the social upper class is a cause for concern: around 16 percent of women with higher education consume the harmful amount of at least 10 grams of pure alcohol daily. Here the value is twice as high as for women with little education.
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A similar picture emerges among men: almost 18 percent of the educated consume more than 20 grams of pure alcohol per day, which is questionable for them, while the figure for the less educated is just under 12 percent.
A look at the regional differences shows that of the around 14,200 people who died in 2020 from an illness caused exclusively by alcohol consumption, most came from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony-Anhalt. The federal state of Baden-Württemberg, on the other hand, recorded the fewest such deaths.
If you do not want to give up drinking alcohol completely, you will find the following recommendation in the alcohol atlas:
In addition, at least two days per week should be scheduled when no alcohol is drunk at all.