THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) — One in eight total deaths among U.S. adults aged 20 to 64 years was attributable to excessive alcohol use, according to a study published online Nov. 1 in JAMA Network Open.

Marissa B. Esser, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the mean annual number of deaths from excessive alcohol use relative to total deaths among adults (aged 20 to 64 years) using data from 2.09 million participants in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2015 to 2019).

The researchers found that during the study period, 12.9 percent of the 694,660 mean deaths per year among adults 20 to 64 years were attributable to excessive alcohol consumption. More of these deaths occurred among men (15.0 percent) than women (9.4 percent). Alcohol-attributable deaths varied by state, ranging from 9.3 percent of total deaths in Mississippi to 21.7 percent in New Mexico. The percentage of alcohol-attributable deaths was even higher among younger adults aged 20 to 49 years (20.3 percent of 44,981 mean annual deaths).

“The number of premature deaths could be reduced with increased implementation of evidenced-based, population-level alcohol policies, such as increasing alcohol taxes or regulating alcohol outlet density,” the authors write.

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