This research generated improved estimates of alcohol use and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 locations from 1990 to 2016, for both sexes and for 5-year age groups between the ages of 15 years and 95 years and older. Alcohol use was a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. The study found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption. Furthermore, the level of alcohol consumption that minimises harm across health outcomes was zero standard drinks per week. These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption.