New Mexico has Highest Number of Deaths Caused by Excessive Drinking, CDC Report


Nearly one in every 10 deaths among working-age adults in the United States was caused by alcohol abuse, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers said that excessive alcohol consumption accounted for about 88,000 deaths annually from 2006 to 2010, and shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years.

Excessive drinking constitutes binge drinkingheavy drinking and any alcohol use by pregnant women or those under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years.

Alcohol exploitation cost the United States about $224 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006. The costs were largely attributed to lost productivity including lower wages among excessive drinkers and deaths from alcohol exploitation among working-age adults (between 20-64 years).

The report also found that 70 percent of those who died were males and about 5 percent of them were under 21 years. The highest death rate due to excessive drinking was reported in New Mexico (51 deaths per 100,000 population), while the lowest was recorded in New Jersey (19.1 per 100,000).

"Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death that kills many Americans in the prime of their lives," said Ursula E. Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, in a press release. "We need to redouble our efforts to implement scientifically proven public health approaches to reduce this tragic loss of life and the huge economic costs that result."

These deaths were caused due to the health effects of excessive drinking over a long period of time resulting into breast cancer, liver disease and heart disease; or from alcohol exploitation in a short period of time like violence, alcohol poisoning and motor vehicle crashes.

Overall, there was a loss of 2.5 million years of potential life every year due to excessive alcohol use.

The finding is published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

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