Excessive drinking was responsible for an average of 255 deaths per day in the United States during 2011 to 2015, according to research published in the July 31 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Marissa B. Esser, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated national and state average annual alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost (YPLL) during 2011 to 2015, including deaths from one’s own excessive drinking and from others’ drinking.
An average of 93,296 alcohol-attributable deaths (255 per day) and 2.7 million YPLL (29 years of life lost per death, on average) were identified in the United States each year. The researchers found that 54.7 percent of all alcohol-attributable deaths were caused by chronic conditions and 56.0 percent involved adults aged 35 to 64 years. Per 100,000 population, age-adjusted alcohol-attributable deaths ranged from 20.3 in New Jersey and New York to 52.3 in New Mexico. Per 100,000 population, YPLL varied from 613.8 in New York to 1,651.7 in New Mexico.
“The implementation of effective population-based strategies for preventing excessive drinking, such as those recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force (e.g., increasing alcohol taxes and regulating the number and concentration of alcohol outlets), could reduce alcohol-attributable deaths and YPLL,” the authors write. “These strategies can complement other population-based prevention strategies that focus on health risk behaviors associated with excessive alcohol use.”