Atheism, alcoholism, and Alzheimer's disease

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Alcoholism was a serious social problem in the former atheistic Soviet Union.[1] Between 1940 and 1980, this atheist state had the largest increase of the amount of alcohol usage in the developed world.[2] See also: Atheism and alcoholism

The abstract for the 2018 journal article Transcriptome analysis of alcohol-treated microglia reveals downregulation of beta amyloid phagocytosis which was published in Journal of Neuroinflammation indicates: "Our results define alterations that occur to microglial gene expression following alcohol exposure and suggest that alcohol effects on phagocytosis could contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease."[3]

Atheism and alcoholism

See also: Atheism and alcoholism

At least 100 studies suggests religion has a positive effect on preventing alcohol-related problems, researchers Christopher Ellison, Jennifer Barrett and Benjamin Moulton noted in an article in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion on “Gender, Marital Status, and Alcohol Behavior: The Neglected Role of Religion.”[4]

The Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: excessive drinking; illegal drug use; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.[5]

Secular Europe and alcoholism

See also: Secular Europe and alcoholism and Secular Europe and obesity and Secular Europe

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe, "The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.[6]

From a global perspective, secular Europe is more secular than the rest of the world although it does have a considerable amount of religious immigrants who have higher birth rates (see: Atheist population and Global atheism).

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe:

The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.

A country’s total per capita alcohol consumption is closely related to its prevalence of alcohol-related harm and alcohol dependence. This high level of harm hides enormous alcohol-related health inequalities between eastern and western Europe, particularly for injury deaths.

Both the volume of lifetime alcohol use and a combination of frequency of drinking and amount drunk per occasion increase the risk of health and social harm, largely in a dose-dependent manner.

The risk of death from a chronic alcohol-related condition is found to increase linearly from zero consumption in a dose–response manner with the volume of alcohol consumed.

At a societal level, the European Union is the heaviest-drinking region in the world, with over one fifth of the European population aged 15 years and above reporting heavy episodic drinking (five or more drinks on an occasion, or 60g alcohol) at least once a week. Heavy episodic drinking is widespread across all ages and all of Europe, and not only among young people or those from northern Europe.[7]

Atheistic China and alcoholism

In 2013, the the World Health Organization (WHO) reported: "High-risk drinking behaviour has reached epidemic proportions in China."[8]

See also: Atheistic China and alcoholism

China has the world's largest atheist population.[9][10]

In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported:

In China, alcohol consumption is increasing faster than other parts of the world. Data from recent decades show a steady increase in alcohol production and consumption and in rates of alcohol-related conditions. These dramatic increases, noted after the 1980s, stem from China’s fast economic development and the parallel rise in average income level.

A recent national survey of drinking in China revealed that 55.6% of the men and 15.0% of the women were current drinkers. Among respondents who endorsed alcohol consumption, 62.7% of the men and 51.0% of the women reported excessive drinking, 26.3% and 7.8%, respectively, reported frequent drinking, and 57.3% and 26.6%, respectively, reported binge drinking. These figures show that China has experienced dramatic increases in the consumption of alcoholic beverages since the late 1970s and even the 1990s. High-risk drinking behaviour has reached epidemic proportions in China.[11]

In 2011, The Guardian reported that there is a rise in binge drinking in China.[12]

Irreligious Australia and alcoholism

See also: Irreligious Australia and alcoholism

The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) report indicated that 20% of Australians drink at levels putting them at risk of lifetime harm.[13]

After WWII, Australia has become a very secular country.[14]

According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

Australia is one of the least devout countries in the Western world, although two-thirds of its population identifies itself as Christian, an international survey comparing religious expression in 21 countries has found.

Religion does not play a central part in the lives of many Australians: 48 per cent of Australians surveyed said they did not partake in personal prayer and 52 per cent said they rarely attended a place of worship for religious reasons.[15]

In the 2011 Australian census, 22.3% of Australians (or 4,796,787 people) identified themselves as having "no religion" which was more than 3 percent higher (and 1,090,232 people more) than in the 2006 census and was the second largest category.[16] Another 2.014 million (9.4%) were in the "not-stated or inadequately-defined" category: thus more than 31% of Australians did not state a religious affiliation in the 2011 census.[17]

The BBC declared in 2017:

The vast majority of Australians worry that national drinking habits are excessive, according to new research...

The World Health Organization ranks Australia 19th on the global alcohol consumption ladder, ahead of Ireland at 21, the UK at 25, New Zealand at 31, Canada at 40 and the United States at 48.[18]

In November of 2013, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation indicated:

ANCD chairman Dr. John Herron says the report shows more work needs to be done to tackle the problem.

"The level of alcohol-related damage occurring in our communities is simply appalling," he said.

"The health, social and economic costs associated with alcohol use simply cannot be allowed to continue at the current level."

The report found 20 per cent of Australians are now drinking at levels that put them at risk of lifetime harm from injury or disease.

ANCD report key findings:

Almost 1 in 8 deaths of people aged under 25 is due to alcohol

60% of all police attendances (including 90% of late-night calls) involve alcohol

One in 5 hospitalisations of people under 25 are due to alcohol

20% of Australians drink at levels putting them at risk of lifetime harm

Almost two thirds of 18-29 year olds drink "specifically to get drunk"

One in four Australians reported being a victim of alcohol-related verbal abuse.[19]

See also

References

  1. Hazardous alcohol drinking in the former Soviet Union: a cross-sectional study of eight countries
  2. Alcoholism in the Soviet Union
  3. 'Transcriptome analysis of alcohol-treated microglia reveals downregulation of beta amyloid phagocytosis by Sergey Kalinin, Marta González-Prieto, Hannah Scheiblich, Lucia Lisi, Handojo Kusumo, Michael T. Heneka, Jose L. M. Madrigal, Subhash C. Pandey and Douglas L. Feinstein, Journal of Neuroinflammation. 201815:141, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-018-1184-7
  4. The Doubled-Edged Sword of Religion and Alcoholism
  5. Practical Outcomes Replace Biblical Principles As the Moral Standard
  6. World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe- Alcohol usage of Europe
  7. World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe- Alcohol usage of Europe
  8. Alcohol and alcohol-related harm in China: policy changes needed
  9. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  10. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  11. Alcohol and alcohol-related harm in China: policy changes needed
  12. The rise of binge drinking in China by Tania Branigan, The Guardian, 2011
  13. One in eight deaths of young Australians attributable to alcohol: National Council on Drugs report By Jane Mower, Updated 19 Nov 2013, 7:28pm
  14. [Stephanie Painter, Vivienne Ryan and Bethany Hiatt, (15 June 2010). "Australians losing the faith". Newspaper. West Australian Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 15 June 2010
  15. God's OK, it's just the religion bit we don't like
  16. 2011 Census QuickStats. Australian Bureau of Statistics (30 October 2012). Retrieved on 2013-02-25.
  17. Irreligion in Ausralia
  18. Australians worry about alcohol abuse, survey says, BBC, 2017
  19. One in eight deaths of young Australians attributable to alcohol: National Council on Drugs report By Jane Mower, Updated 19 Nov 2013, 7:28pm