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    Friday, July 31, 2020

    Americans Die From Alcohol-Related Causes Each Year

    Prevalence of Drinking: According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 86.3 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 70.0 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 55.3 percent reported that they drank in the past month.

    Prevalence of Binge Drinking and Heavy Alcohol Use: In 2018, 26.45 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month; 6.6 percent reported that they engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month.  (See "Definitions" box for definitions of binge drinking and heavy alcohol use.)

    More than 93,000 Americans die yearly from excessive booze or alcohol-related causes, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.

    This includes more than 50,000 people who die from chronic health conditions caused by excessive drinking, including alcoholic liver disease, agency researchers said.

    The remainder died from “acute causes,” including alcohol overdoses, drinking-related injuries and drunk-driving accidents, they said.

    “Little progress has been made in preventing deaths caused by excessive drinking,” the authors of the paper, published in the CDC’s Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, wrote.

    The data indicate “that an average of 255 Americans die from excessive drinking every day,” they said.

    The findings are based on an analysis of data from the CDC’s Alcohol-Related Disease Impact project, which tracked alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost nationally, between 2011 and 2015.

    There were 93,296 alcohol-related deaths annually during the five-year period assessed, the CDC researchers said.

    Of these, 52,361 deaths each year were caused by chronic conditions related to drinking, including 18,164 linked to alcoholic liver disease, which the Cleveland Clinic describes as severe liver damage as a result of “excessive drinking.”

    Another 9,801 alcohol-related deaths annually were caused by cirrhosis, the CDC analysis found. Cirrhosis is severe liver scarring that is seen in late-stage alcoholic liver disease, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

    Of the “acute” alcohol-related deaths, 9,899 annually occurred as a result of suicide, while 7,092 were caused by motor-vehicle crashes, the CDC researchers said.

    In addition, there were 5,306 homicides related to alcohol use each year, they said.

    Injuries sustained during falls accounted for 2,645 of the alcohol-related deaths each year, while 2,288 were caused by alcohol poisoning, according to the CDC researchers.

    Overall, those who died from alcohol-related causes over the five-study period shortened their lives by an average of 29 years, the researchers said.

    “Excessive drinking is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States and is associated with numerous health and social problems,” they wrote.

    “Prevention strategies, including … increasing alcohol taxes and regulating the number and concentration of places that sell alcohol, could help reduce deaths and years of potential life lost from excessive drinking.”
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