More people dying from alcohol-related problems

Grant Boone
January 11, 2020

Extra People are ordering extra rounds and that is resulting in extra funerals, in response to a new study on alcohol-associated deaths.

In most studies like this, the role of alcohol in deaths is vastly underreported: Since the NIAAA examined death certificates only, the actual number of booze-soaked deaths in 2017 may far exceed the 72,558 stated by the authors. Almost half of the alcohol-related deaths were the result of liver disease or overdoses.

While a majority of the deaths involved middle-aged men, the researchers were concerned because the number of women who died was increasing at a higher rate than men.

The study, titled "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research", was published Wednesday by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. There were a total of just under one million deaths during that time period.

According to the study, 70.1 percent of the U.S. population ages 18 and older, about 173.3 million people, consumed alcohol in 2017.

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. A study previous year found that rising healthcare costs, along with lack of access to medical care, were a driving force in these "deaths of despair".

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Besides women, the annual increase in deaths for people of middle age and older was four times greater than people in their 20s and 30s.

Women are also dying of alcohol-related causes at younger ages.

The study also found that since 2006, rates of overdose emergency departments visits involving cocaine and psychostimulants with an opioid increased in recent years, as did those involving psychostimulants without opioids.

While non-Hispanic black males and females and Hispanic males saw an initial decline and then a leveling off of death rates from 1999 to 2011, this was followed by increases in alcohol-related mortality for these groups.

Binge drinking has increased by about 7.7 percent since the start of the 21st century and alcohol consumption per capita is up by 8 percent, reports CNN.

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