The examination of impacts drew from more than 600 earlier studies, while a country-by-country tally of prevalence - the percentage of men and women who drink, and how much they consume - drew from another 700. Regular consumption has adverse effects on organs and tissues, acute intoxication can lead to injuries or poisoning, and alcohol dependence may lead to frequent intoxication, self-harm or violence. This has led to the built-up of a social perception that drinking alcohol is okay.
"We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero", the study says.
A drink or 10 grammes of alcohol increases the risk of around one of two dozen health problems by about half-a-percent.
Of the more than 2 billion people around the world consume alcohol, about 63 percent are men, the researchers wrote.
The study included data on individual and population alcohol consumption from nearly 700 sources, in addition to nearly 600 studies on the risk of alcohol use.
But in the case of people aged between 15 and 49, alcohol was found to be the most lethal factor, responsible for more than 12% of deaths among men, the study found.
The researchers found that, globally, about one in three people (32.5 percent) drink alcohol, which is equivalent to 2.4 billion people worldwide, including 25 percent of women and 39 percent of men. Another improvement over past studies, she said, was a new meta-analysis of the effects of alcohol on the 23 health outcomes, which was then used to access risk. These include that they're often self-reported, which relies on people recalling their drinking habits, which is subject to human error; or based on alcohol sales data, which doesn't always provide an accurate picture of people's individual consumption levels.
"The study confirms that alcohol is one of the world's leading causes of disability, disease and death", Humphreys said. Some studies also overlook illicit trade and home brewing. But this new study looked at a range of factors and concluded that any possible benefits were heavily outweighed by the risks.
But more recently, this team looked to see what amounts of alcohol might elevate potential risks of conditions ranging from cancer to tuberculosis and contribute to this alarming statistic.
"Policies focusing on reducing alcohol consumption to the lowest levels will be important to improve health".
For populations 50 and older, cancers accounted for a large proportion of alcohol-related deaths, 27.1 percent for females and 18.9 percent for males.
The new study is being touted as the most comprehensive of its kind because of its wide-reaching nature.