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Monday, August 6, 2012

Rural India more tipsy Nearly 62.5M In Country Consume 4 Litres Of Alcohol Each Per Yr


New Delhi: Rural India is far more tipsier than its urban counterpart. This is what India's latest Annual Health Survey (AHS) conducted by the Registrar General of India (RGI) across 284 districts in nine states has revealed. 
    According to an RGI official, a large percentage of people consuming alcohol are from the four states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarkhand and Assam. 
    The official said, "The survey includes those who drink occasionally and those who are regular (at least once every week)." 
    Alcohol consumption is connected to more than 60 diseases and is a risk factor for oesophageal cancer, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide, stroke, psychiatric illness and motor vehicle accidents. Around 25% of road accidents in India are alcohol-related and 20% of accident-related head injury vic
tims in emergency rooms of hospitals have consumed alcohol prior to the accident. The government spends nearly $5 billion (approx Rs 27,700 crore) every year to manage the consequences of alcohol use, which is more than its total excise earning at $4.8 billion. 
    The Union health ministry had earlier said that the average age of alcohol consumption in India has been constantly falling by nearly nine years over the past decade. At present, on an average, 
Indians take their first sip of alcohol at the age of 19 compared to 28 in the 1990s. 
    Nearly 62.5 million people in India drink alcohol with the per capita consumption being around four litres per adult per year. 
    For every six men, one woman consumes alcohol in India. India has one of the largest alcoholic beverage industries in the world, producing 65% of the alcohol in south-east Asia. It also contributes to about 7% of the total alcohol beverage imports into the region. 
    In a startling find, UP, which is usually associated with guns and alcohol, is among the lowest in the country's most populous state. 
    The AHS — the world's 
largest demographic exercise with a sample size of 20.1 million people from 4.1 million households — says only 6.8% adults (above 15 years) in UP consume alcohol. 
    In comparison, the prevalence is almost three times in Chhattisgarh (19.7%). UP's consumption is second lowest among the nine states surveyed (Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Assam), with Rajasthan recording the lowest at 3.4%. 
    The survey, conducted by the Registrar General of India across 284 districts in these states that account for about 48% of the total population, also found that the percentage of men drinking alco
hol in Chhattisgarh is the highest at 31.6%, followed by Jharkhand (24.6%) and Assam (23.8%). 
    When it comes to women, however, noone could beat the Assamese. Around one in 10 adult women (9.5%) in Assam drink alcohol. Assam is followed by Jharkhand (8.2%), Chhattisgarh (7.4%) and Odisha (4.5%). The prevalence of female drinkers was found to be as low as 0.7% in Uttarkhand, Bihar (0.4%) and Madhya Pradesh (1.4%). Interestingly, prevalence of alcohol consumption was almost 12 times more among men in UP than in women. 
    In Uttarakhand, the prevalence of alcohol consumption was nearly 20 times more among men than women.



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