That's in part because some older studies didn't account for the fact that many people who don't drink abstain either because they had addiction issues in the past, or have other health problems that force them to stay away from alcohol.
The myth of moderate drinking Drinking occasionally or a glass or two of wine or beer everyday has been condoned for years as they have been assumed to offer health benefits.
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.
For people who had two alcoholic drinks a day, 63 more developed a condition within a year and for those who consumed five drinks every day, there was an increase of 338 people, who developed a health problem.
"But at the global level, that additional risk of 0.5 percent among (once-a-day) drinkers corresponds to about 100,000 additional deaths each year", said senior author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor at the University of Washington and a director at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
The scientists pooled together data from 592 studies with a total of 28 million participants to assess the global health risks associated with alcohol.
One of the reports authors, Professor Sonia Saxena at Imperial College London, said: "One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the United Kingdom population and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day. Any of these policy actions would contribute to reductions in population-level consumption, a vital step toward decreasing the health loss associated with alcohol use", she added. The highest number of alcohol drinkers is in Denmark (95.3 per cent women and 97.1 per cent men) while the lowest are in Pakistan for men (0.8 per cent) and Bangladesh for women (0.3 per cent).
Every year 2.2.% of women and 6.8% of men die of alcohol-related health problems including cancer, tuberculosis, and liver disease.
Humphreys called the work the "most sophisticated global study of the impact of alcohol on human health ever conducted".
Currently, New Zealand's Ministry of Health guidelines recommend that men drink no more than three standard units a day and no more than 15 standard units a week.
Lead author Dr Max Griswold from the University of Washington acknowledged that alcohol had a complex association with health, affecting it in multiple ways. "Overall, the health risks associated with alcohol rose in line with the amount consumed". For people over 50, cancers were a leading cause of alcohol-related death.
"The study confirms that alcohol is one of the world's leading causes of disability, disease and death", Humphreys said.
Men in Romania who partake knocked back a top-scoring eight drinks a day on average, with Portugal, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Ukraine just behind at seven "units" per day.