Are We Drinking too Much? Maybe

Are We Drinking too Much? Maybe

A couple of weeks ago the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on death from drinking. The studys lead author is Merianne Spencer. She noted in the last two decades the average rate of alcohol deaths rose by 7% a year.

The year 2020 was worse and Spencer said in 2020 the number of deaths directly related to alcohol rose by 26%. The report noted there were 52,000 deaths that year and its up from 39,000 in 2019. That’s 13 people per 100,000.

Spencer said it is the highest number recorded in 40 years.

The report defined alcohol deaths as liver or pancreas failure, poisoning from alcohol, withdrawal from alcohol and from other diseases related to drink. Here are some statistics:

  • *Death from alcohol is 2 1/2 times more common in men than women
  • *The death rate from alcohol is highest in the age group 55 to 64
  • *The report says those figures rose in almost every age group but was most dramatic in women age 35 to 44
  • *Women in that category saw a 42% jump in deaths from alcohol

    A report published at the same time by JAMA Network Open took a more in depth look at the problem and included death from motor vehicle crashes, suicide, falls and cancer.

    The JAMA report said from 2015 to 2019 there were about 140,000 deaths per year directly related to alcohol. The CDC looked at those figures and determined that 82,000 came from drinking too much over a long period of time and 58,000 happened because of acute intoxication.

    The study said one in eight deaths in the U.S. for adults age 20 to 64 can be tied to alcohol.

  • *The PIA Western Alliance state of New Mexico has the highest rate at 22%
  • *Mississippi’s was the lowest at 9%

The CDC says other surveys indicate that half of the alcohol consumed in the U.S. is from binge drinking. What wasn’t included in the study — the CDC says — is the number of deaths that come from alcohol-fueled violence.

The report added that the deaths may have increased during the first pandemic year of 2020 because people with alcohol-related illnesses couldn’t get adequate medical care.

In the end, the CDC suggests more ways are needed to combat the abuse of alcohol. The report suggests increasing the taxes on alcoholic beverage and putting measures in place that limit where people can purchase beer, wine and liquor.

Source link: Insurance Journal —

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