Six US adults die from binge drinking every day

7th January, 2015 by Amy Hopkins

An average of six people die from alcohol poisoning every day in the US, totalling 2,200 deaths a year, new government research reveals.

Binge-drinking-study

A new report demonstrates the extent of America’s binge drinking problem, which causes six deaths every day

According to a recent report by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the deaths are a result of binge drinking – drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time – which can impact the brain, heart rate, breathing and body temperature.

The CDC’s Vital Signs report states that three in four deaths involve adults aged 35-64, and most deaths occur among men and non-Hispanic whites. However American Indians and Native Alaskans experience the most deaths from alcohol poisoning per million people.

More than 38 million US adults report binge drinking an average of four times per month and consume an average of eight drinks per binge drinking session. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on one occasion.

“Alcohol poisoning deaths are a heartbreaking reminder of the dangers of excessive alcohol use, which is a leading cause of preventable deaths in the US,” said CDC principal deputy director Ileana Arias.

“We need to implement effective programs and policies to prevent binge drinking and the many health and social harms that are related to it, including deaths from alcohol poisoning.”

The CDC also emphasised the wide differences in alcohol consumption between states, stating that while there are 46.5 deaths per million residents in Alaska as a result of excessive consumption, there are 5.3 per million in Alabama. The greatest number of deaths occur in the Great Plains, western United States, and New England.

As part of the study, CDC scientists analysed deaths from alcohol poisoning among people aged 15 years and older using data from the National Vital Statistics System for 2010-2012. However, researchers emphasis that the report may not be conclusive, as alcohol-related deaths are underreported.

“This study shows that alcohol poisoning deaths are not just a problem among young people,” said the report’s co-author Robert Brewer.

Brewer added that the report demonstrates a need for a “comprehensive approach” to reduce binge drinking.

Another report was recently published that showed binge drinking has the ability to significantly impair the immune systems of healthy adults.

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