Alcohol-Induced Deaths Continue to Rise
Drinking alcohol is a common practice among many cultures across the planet. People tend to drink alcohol to decrease stress, forget their problems and have fun in general. Having said that, alcohol consumption leads to numerous serious concerns including liver disease, cancer, pancreatitis, ulcer, gastrointestinal problems, osteoporosis and brain damage, etc.
However, the most severe concern that needs urgent attention is the increase in death rates due to alcohol. But how is alcohol responsible for increased deaths, and what have studies found so far? Let’s take a look at alcohol-induced deaths that continue to rise.
Alcohol Consumption and Mortality Rates
In the United States alone, the deaths due to alcohol consumption have skyrocketed in the past two decades. To observe the impacts, studies were conducted on participants primarily in the 24-65 years age range. However, an increase in deaths has also been reported in other groups as well.
These studies lasted from 2000 to 2016 and were primarily focused on different racial and ethnic groups of the citizen in the United States of America. The deaths due to alcohol in these studies also included those losses that were indirectly caused due to alcohol such as traffic accidents and cancer etc.
Therefore, It is critical to monitor the mortality rates among different groups of individuals separated by sex, age, race, country level and socioeconomic status in the United States to come up with preventive health care resources.
How Were These Studies Conducted?
These studies used mortality data taken from the US Census Bureau from 2000-2016. The members of these studies included people older than 15 years of age. By alcohol-induced deaths, the studies meant those deaths that could have been avoided if the individuals were not under the influence of alcohol.
The sex, age, and ethnicity of the individuals were taken into consideration from the death certificates that were originally recorded by funeral directors.
This survey categorized people based on their races into the following groups:
- Non-Latino White
- Non-Latino Black
- Asian and Pacific Islander (API)
The American Community Survey (2011-2015) was used for collecting Socioeconomic status. In these statistics, different factors were taken into consideration like unemployment percentage, percentage of people that were 25 years or elder in age that had a bachelor’s degree, the median household income of the past 12 months, etc.
These statistics were then further grouped into quintiles according to their distribution across counties, and population size, etc.
The mortality rates for both men and women were collected separately based on their ethnicity and individual causes of alcohol-induced death and were accordingly categorized into respective categories.
The Results Obtained
If we look at the survey taken in recent times (2013-2016) most of the deaths occurred between people aged 55-64. Other results are as follows:
From 2000 to 2016 a total of 425,045 deaths were identified due to alcohol abuse.
From the start in 2000 the deaths were 19,672 in that year with Men to Women ratio of 76:24. This meant that per 100,000 residents 8.9 died due to alcohol.
However, by 2016, these deaths increased to 34,857 deaths that year with Men to Women ratio of 73:27. In 100,000 people, now, around 12 were dying due to alcohol abuse.
By Cause of Death
In 2016, the major causes responsible for alcohol-induced death were as follows.
- Out of 25,213 alcohol-induced deaths, 15,148 deaths alone were due to liver disease.
- 9,039 died due to accidental poisoning by exposure to alcohol or mental behavior disorder.
- The remaining 1,026 deaths were caused by a range of other different factors.
By Racial/Ethnic Groups
When it comes to the racial/ethnic groups, the survey found the following results in 2016 from highest to lowest out of 100,000:
- In the AIAN population, the Men to Women Death ratio among 100,000 was 113.2 and 55.8.
- Latino men with 21.9 deaths
- White men with 18.2 deaths
- Black men with 13.8 deaths
- API men with 4.4 deaths
- After AIAN women, highest date rate was white women with 7.6 deaths
- Latina women with 4.7 deaths
- Black women with 4.6 deaths
- API women with 1 death
By different states, these deaths were highest in the Western United States such as Oregon and Wyoming from 2013-2016. Similarly, throughout the country, an increase in deaths was observed from 2003-2005 and 2013-2016.
The death rates due to alcohol have increased substantially in the more recent years. Most of the deaths from all these different groups were, particularly among Men. Talking about the United States, the highest deaths occurred in the Western regions.
Among different groups, AIAN’s were most affected. While in recent times, the death rates between black men and women and Latino women declined.
Although these current studies were more focused on the United States, it is notable that alcohol is the leading cause of mortality worldwide among different countries specifically Europe, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
Therefore, alcohol-induced deaths is a severe issue that needs immediate attention. These deaths have only accelerated throughout the years. As most of the alcohol-related issues develop with increasing age, it is important to note that among younger people, increasing issues could develop in their future.
There’s Always Hope
Alcohol use disorders pose a serious threat to individuals and families in our community, but there are many effective treatments available that can assist people in getting a grip on their situations.
Alcohol treatments give you a safe environment to heal, provide detoxification services and medical help, give you relapse prevention strategies, provide recovery for the entire person.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of getting an alcohol treatment is that it can completely turn your life around for the better. Getting treatment can help save families from getting destroyed, and in severe cases, reaching out for professional help can even help save lives of people that might be susceptible to alcohol-induced death.
If you know someone who is struggling with an alcohol problem, contact the trusted experts at BoardPrep Recovery Center® at 866.796.4720. There are many forms of effective treatment that can be individualized to you specific needs. We are here to listen and guide you toward a better life. If you don’t get help at BoardPrep, please get help somewhere.
This is a summary of a recent article in JAMA titled Trends in Alcohol-Induced Deaths in the United States, 2000-2016.