Alcohol responsible for 1 in 10 U.S. deaths

BY Nora Daly  June 27, 2014 at 2:37 PM EST
Excessive drinking is responsible for one in ten U.S. deaths, the CDC found. Photo by Flickr user JOH_8513

Excessive drinking is responsible for one in 10 U.S. deaths, the CDC found. Photo by Flickr user JOH_8513

Alcohol consumption was the cause of nearly one in 10 deaths among U.S. adults from 2006 to 2010, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These numbers confirm that alcohol continues to be a leading cause of premature death across the nation.

The CDC found that over half of all alcohol-related deaths were due to excessive consumption, or binge-drinking. The majority, 69 percent, of these deaths occurred among adults between the ages of 20 and 64. Men accounted for 71 percent of total deaths, while children under the age of 21 accounted for only five percent.

The percentage of deaths attributable to excessive alcohol consumption varied state by state, a fact the CDC suggests reflects differences in the pricing and availability of alcohol, as well as access to medical care. In light of the results of this report, the CDC is calling on policymakers for a “more widespread implementation of interventions recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force.” These recommendations include raising the price of alcoholic beverages by increasing taxes, increased liability for commercial retailers and placing regulatory limits on the alcohol outlet density.