GENEVA, Switzerland, March 28 (UPI) -- Pure alcohol consumption per capita -- age 15 and older -- worldwide in 2005 equaled almost 6.5 quarts, with Europe drinking the most, health officials said.
A report by the World Health Organization and the European Commission found the highest consumption of alcohol was found in the developed world, mostly the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in Europe, but also in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
The heaviest drinkers were in central-eastern and eastern Europe, who drank more than 15 quarts per capita, 12 quarts in Western Europe and Southern Europe, and almost 11 quarts in Scandinavian countries.
Medium consumption levels were found in Southern Africa, with Namibia and South Africa having the highest levels, and in North and South America.
Low consumption levels were found in the countries of North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean region, and southern Asia and the Indian Ocean. These regions represent large populations of the Islamic faith, which have very high rates of abstention, the report said.
The pattern of drinking score -- the frequency and circumstances of alcohol consumption and the proportion of people drinking alcohol to intoxication -- was among the lowest in Western European countries, while it was the highest (riskiest) in the Russian Federation, and in some neighboring countries. Risky patterns of drinking are also highly prevalent in Mexico and southern African countries, the report said.