Author: John Carter

Alcohol-Related Deaths Surge to Nearly 500 a Day, CDC Says The New York Times

alcoholism death

Alcohol can increase your risk for high blood pressure, which can put you at risk for a heart attack or a stroke. And while alcohol is a liquid, it can still pack on empty calories, and drinking too much may lead to obesity. Achieving a reduction in the harmful use of alcohol in line with the targets included in the SDG 2030 agenda and the WHO Global Monitoring Framework for Noncommunicable Diseases requires concerted action by countries, effective global governance and appropriate engagement of all relevant stakeholders. By working together effectively, the negative health and social consequences of alcohol can be reduced. The study chronicled a sustained spike in drinking during the Covid pandemic that continued to rise after the shock of the lockdowns of 2020.

Adverse childhood experiences significantly increase the risk of problematic alcohol use in adulthood (Hughes, K., et al., The Lancet Public Health, Vol. 2, No. 8, 2017). A large body of research also shows a strong genetic component for AUD. “About 50% of why some people are more likely to develop AUD is due to differences in their DNA,” said Danielle Dick, PhD, director of the Rutgers Addiction Research Center. If drinking alcohol is taking a toll on your mental health, let your doctor know or talk to a licensed mental health specialist such as a counselor or therapist.

Adverse health impacts and social harm from a given level and pattern of drinking are greater for poorer societies. That compares with an average annual increase of 3.6 percent in alcohol-related deaths between 1999 and 2019. Deaths started inching up in recent years, but increased only 5 percent between 2018 and 2019. Almost a million people in the United States have died of Covid-19 in the past two years, but the full impact of the pandemic’s collateral damage is still being tallied.

  1. These deaths result from conditions that develop from drinking over long periods of time, as well as from binge drinking – or drinking too much on one occasion.
  2. The authors note that previous studies have shown that the role of alcohol in deaths is vastly underreported.
  3. Alcohol-related deaths surged in the United States by nearly 30 percent in recent years, with roughly 500 Americans dying each day in 2021, according to a new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Using powerful new genotyping technologies, Dick and her colleagues can calculate a polygenic risk score that looks across a person’s genome to create what she calls an index of genetic liability. “We can start to predict who might be at greater risk,” she said. MMWR and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S.

Deaths from Excessive Alcohol Use — United States, 2016–2021

Over time, too much scarring in the liver can lead to cirrhosis. It’s a life-threatening, late-stage liver disease that can stop the liver from properly filtering blood. This can cause other organs in your body to shut down and increase your risk for death. Cirrhosis usually takes decades to develop, and sometimes people are not aware of it until it’s too late. Psychologists and other health professionals can also advocate for policies that reduce risky drinking. “Fear-based programs that try to scare people away from drinking aren’t effective.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous because it affects your ability to reason, think clearly, judge, or follow traffic laws. It puts your life and the safety of those around you at risk, too. On average, drunk driving kills around 28 people per day in the U.S. U.S. deaths from causes fully due to excessive alcohol use increased during the past 2 decades.

The incidence of alcohol-related deaths was higher in men, but among women the death rate shot up at a quicker pace. The context of drinking plays an important role in the occurrence of alcohol-related harm, particularly as a result of alcohol intoxication. Alcohol consumption can have an impact not only on the incidence of diseases, injuries and other health conditions, but also on their outcomes and how these evolve over time. Societal factors include level of economic development, culture, social norms, availability of alcohol, and implementation and enforcement of alcohol policies.

Indeed, evidence shows such 12-step programs are effective (Kelly, J. F., et al., Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2020). Besides AA, other mutual-help programs, such as SMART Recovery, have been gaining ground. Multiple medications have also been approved to treat alcohol dependence, by reducing cravings or triggering unpleasant side effects if a person drinks. So it’s your liver’s job to detoxify and remove alcohol from your blood.

Alcohol-Related Deaths Surge to Nearly 500 a Day, C.D.C. Says

Among both males and females, alcohol-attributable death rates increased for most cause of death categories. The average number of sex-specific alcohol-attributable deaths increased among all age groups from 2016–2017 to 2020–2021(Figure). During this time, deaths from excessive drinking among males increased approximately 27%, from 94,362 per year to 119,606, and among females increased approximately 35%, from 43,565 per year to 58,701. Increases in deaths from excessive alcohol use during the study period occurred among all age groups. A recent study found that one in eight total deaths among U.S. adults aged 20–64 years during 2015–2019 resulted from excessive alcohol use (9). Because of the increases in these deaths during 2020–2021, including among adults in the same age group, excessive alcohol use could account for an even higher proportion of total deaths during that 2-year period.

alcoholism death

These estimates are from the CDC’s Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) application. The ARDI application shows estimates of alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost from 58 conditions by age, sex, and state. When people think about AUD treatment, they usually imagine peer-support programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Treatments and attitudes evolve

Between 2015 and 2019, excessive alcohol consumption contributed to about 140,000 deaths among adults ages 20 to 64 each year. Those deaths included acute causes like car crashes and alcohol poisoning, as well as chronic conditions such as liver disease or cancer. Put another way, alcohol was a factor in 1 in 8 deaths among 20- to 64-year-olds. And in people ages 20 to 49, 1 in every 5 deaths was related to excessive drinking (Esser, M. B., et al., JAMA Network Open, Vol. 5, No. 11, 2022). The average annual number of deaths from excessive alcohol use among males increased by 25,244 (26.8%), from 94,362 deaths during 2016–2017 to 119,606 during 2020–2021 (Table 2). Age-standardized death rates among males increased from 54.8 per 100,000 population during 2016–2017 to 55.9 during 2018–2019, and to 66.9 during 2020–2021.

During each period, among all excessive alcohol use cause of death categories, death rates among males were highest from 100% alcohol-attributable chronic conditions. Among females, the average annual number of deaths from excessive alcohol use increased by 15,136 (34.7%), from 43,565 during 2016–2017, to 58,701 during 2020–2021. Age-standardized alcohol-attributable death rates among females increased from 22.7 per 100,000 population during 2016–2017 to 23.6 during 2018–2019, and to 29.4 during 2020–2021. Death rates among females were highest from heart disease and stroke during each period.

She also reports on topics related to lifestyle and environmental impacts on health for WebMD and Medscape. Men are twice as likely to develop cirrhosis and four times as likely to develop liver cancer. Excessive drinking is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and it is also costly. It cost the nation $249 billion in 2010 (the most recent year of data available). Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to The harmful use of alcohol can also result in harm to other people, such as family members, friends, co-workers and strangers.