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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Jan 9;63(53):1238-42.

Vital signs: alcohol poisoning deaths - United States, 2010-2012.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alcohol poisoning is typically caused by binge drinking at high intensity (i.e., consuming a very large amount of alcohol during an episode of binge drinking). Approximately 38 million U.S. adults report binge drinking an average of four times per month and consuming an average of eight drinks per episode.

METHODS:

CDC analyzed data for 2010–2012 from the National Vital Statistics System to assess average annual alcohol poisoning deaths and death rates (ICD-10 codes X45 and Y15; underlying cause of death) in the United States among persons aged ≥15 years, by sex, age group, race/ethnicity, and state.

RESULTS:

During 2010–2012, an annual average of 2,221 alcohol poisoning deaths (8.8 deaths per 1 million population) occurred among persons aged ≥15 years in the United States. Of those deaths, 1,681 (75.7%) involved adults aged 35–64 years, and 1,696 (76.4%) involved men. Although non-Hispanic whites accounted for the majority of alcohol poisoning deaths (67.5%; 1,500 deaths), the highest age-adjusted death rate was among American Indians/Alaska Natives (49.1 per 1 million). The age-adjusted rate of alcohol poisoning deaths in states ranged from 5.3 per 1 million in Alabama to 46.5 per 1 million in Alaska.

CONCLUSIONS:

On average, six persons, mostly adult men, die from alcohol poisoning each day in the United States. Alcohol poisoning death rates vary substantially by state.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE:

Evidence-based strategies for preventing excessive drinking (e.g., regulating alcohol outlet density and preventing illegal alcohol sales in retail settings) could reduce alcohol poisoning deaths by reducing the prevalence, frequency, and intensity of binge drinking.

PMID:
25577989
PMCID:
PMC4646044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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