Number of alcohol-related deaths has doubled in the U.S., shows study

An analysis of death certificates suggests that the number of alcohol-related deaths doubled in the United States between 1999-2017.

In the analysis, which is published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, the number of alcohol-related deaths per year among people aged 16 years and older rose from 35,914 to 72,558 and the rate increased from 16.9 to 25.5 per 100,000.

Nearly 1 million alcohol-related deaths were recorded between 1999-2017. In 2017, 2.6% of roughly 2.8 million deaths in the United States involved alcohol.

Nearly half of alcohol-related deaths resulted from liver disease or overdoses on alcohol alone or with other drugs.

Rates of alcohol-related deaths were highest among males, people in age groups spanning 45-74 years, and among non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaska Natives.

Journal reference:

White, A. M. et al. (2020) Using Death Certificates to Explore Changes in Alcohol‐Related Mortality in the United States, 1999 to 2017. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.


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