Nearly 3.3 million deaths reported in 2012 were solely caused by alcohol: WHOTim RT/Flickr

Nearly 3.3 million deaths reported in 2012 were solely caused by alcohol, a new report released by World Health Organization (WHO), says.

The report, which was compiled after examining prevalence of alcohol consumption in 194 WHO Member States, linked excess consumption of alcohol to the development of nearly 200 deadly diseases like cancer and liver cirrhosis; and also blamed it for making consumers more prone to many contagious diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia. A detailed investigation into the matter also cited violence and injuries, resulting from alcohol consumption which plays a major role in this occurrence.

"We found that worldwide about 16% of drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking - often referred to as 'binge-drinking' - which is the most harmful to health," Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director for Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO, said in a news release.

Though, according to the data, only 38.3 percent of the total population consumed alcohol, each person drinks about 17 litres of pure alcohol every year. Alcohol-related deaths were higher among men (7.6 percent) than women (4 percent). However, the report also found alcohol consumption becoming more common among women recently, compared to the past.

To prevent this incidence, authorities urged countries to strengthen policies related to alcohol. "More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption," Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, said. "The report clearly shows that there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol."

The "Global status report on alcohol and health 2014," was launched during a meeting of the global network of WHO national counterparts at Geneva on Monday, 12 May.

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