U.S. Alcohol-Related Deaths Have Doubled, Study Says

Henrietta Brewer
January 11, 2020

A new study published on Wednesday found that alcohol-related deaths in the United States have more than doubled within the past 20 years.

Researchers found 35,914 alcohol-related deaths in 1999 had increased to 72,558 in 2017, with nearly 1 million deaths during that period. The most significant annual increase in deaths was among non-Hispanic white women. It found 30% of deaths were from liver disease. Across racial and ethnic groups, non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives (NH AIAN) had the highest alcohol-related death rates in 2017.

Some of the greatest increases were found among women and people who were middle-aged and older.

The study relied on mortality data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, but since death certificates sometimes do not mention the involvement of alcohol in a cause of death, "the scope of alcohol-related mortality in the United States is likely higher than suggested", the writers concluded.


Rates are highest among older men, specifically in the 45-74 age range.

"Women are at greater risk than men at comparable levels of alcohol exposure for alcohol-related cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, alcohol-related liver disease, and acute liver failure due to excessive drinking", wrote authors of the paper.

"We know that the contribution of alcohol often fails to make it only death certificates", he continued.

"This is more speculative, but there is some cultural social force which is leading people to drink more", Tapper said.


Overall, roughly 70 percent of adults in 2017 said they average little over two drinks a day. While the overall prevalence of drinking and binge drinking did not change for men between 2000 and 2016, there was a 10.1 percent increase in drinking and a 23.3 percent increase in binge drinking among women over these years.

And while the agency offers no explanation for this increase in youngsters' deaths, it's probably safe to assume fatal accidents, lethal injuries, and overindulgence have something to do with it.

According to CNN, consumption of alcohol in the USA has increased about 8% since 2000 and binge drinking has increased about 7.7%. "The liver can regenerate and this is a problem that often times can be helped".


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