U.S. alcohol-related death rate is on the rise, government reports show

Deaths directly attributable to alcohol grew nearly 30% in the United States in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown which states have the highest numbers and which groups are affected. The agency has previously said such deaths increased in 2020 and 2021.

According to the World Health Organization, the harmful use of alcohol is a causative factor in more than 200 diseases and injuries, resulting in 3 million deaths per year.

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A report released Friday details more than a dozen types of deaths, including liver or pancreatic failure, alcohol poisoning and withdrawal.

Bottles of Jim Beam brand bourbon whiskey for sale at the James B. Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, U.S. on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

The rate of such deaths had increased by 7% or less each year, but increased by 26% in 2020 – the highest rate in at least 40 years.

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There were more than 52,000 such deaths last year. This number increased from 39,000 in 2019, for both men and women. Deaths are 2.5 times more frequent in men.

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The rate also remained higher among people aged 55 to 64, but also jumped 42% among women aged 35 to 44.

A second report looked at a wider range of deaths that may be alcohol-related, including cancers and road accidents.

Beer

Corona Extra beer arranged in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, U.S. on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

The researchers said more than 140,000 of this broader category of deaths occur every year, based on data from 2015 to 2019. That’s more than 380 deaths every day.

About 82,000 are due to excessive alcohol consumption over a long period and 58,000 to causes related to acute intoxication.

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The study found that up to 1 in 8 deaths among American adults aged 20 to 64 were alcohol-related deaths.

New Mexico had the highest percentage alcohol-related deaths, at 22%.

Mississippi had the lowest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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