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Drinking Kills One in 10 American Adults Per Year

Update Date: Jun 27, 2014 10:08 AM EDT
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According to a new federal report, alcohol can be tied to one in every 10 deaths among American adults per year. The researchers had tallied up all of the accidents and diseases caused by alcohol and found at least 50 alcohol-related health conditions that lead to premature death.

"Excessive drinking is associated with a lot more causes of death than what we tend to focus on. Alcohol intake plays a role in at least 54 different conditions linked to death," said Mandy Stahre, an epidemiologist at the Washington state Department of Health who conducted the study while at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported by Philly. "Binge drinking is associated with 51 percent of all deaths due to excessive drinking."

For this study, Stahre and her team used the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact application to calculate the number of deaths tied to alcohol from 2006 to 2010 in adults between the ages of 20 and 64. The team also estimated the number of years people lost due to excessive drinking. They found that roughly 88,000 people die each year due to alcohol-related reasons, whether it is from a car accident or some kind of disease, such as acute pancreatitis. People who drank excessively shortened their lifespan by about 30 years.

The team also analyzed the role of gender and found that men made up the majority of the fatalities at 71 percent. Stahre explained that men were more likely than women to participate in excessive drinking.

"Alcohol isn't totally benign," Dr. James Garbutt, a professor of psychiatry and a research scientist at the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said. "Moderation is very important."

The report found that the number of alcohol-related deaths varied significantly between states. In New Mexico, the incidence rate was 51 deaths per year out of 100,000 people. In New Jersey, the rate was a lot lower at 19 deaths per 100,000 people.

"It's shocking to see the public health impact of excessive drinking on working-age adults," said Dr. Robert Brewer, one of the report's authors and head of the CDC's alcohol program reported by Newsday.

The study was published in the journal, Preventing Chronic Disease.

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