Blog | Monday, March 17, 2014

QD: News Every Day--Excessive alcohol use leads to 2.5 million years of life lost annually

Excessive alcohol consumption led to about 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually from 2006 to 2010 and cost an estimated $223.5 billion in 2006, the CDC reported.

To estimate state-specific average annual rates of alcohol-attributable deaths and caused by excessive alcohol use, 11 states analyzed 2006 to 2010 data using the CDC’s Alcohol-Related Disease Impact application in 11 states. Results appeared March 14 at MMWR.

The age-adjusted median rate of deaths from alcohol was 28.5 per 100,000 population (range=50.9 per 100,000 in New Mexico to 22.4 per 100,000 in Utah). The median years of potential life lost 823 per 100,000 (range=1,534 years per 100,000 for New Mexico to 634 per 100,000 in Utah). The majority of alcohol attributable deaths (median=70%) and years of potential life lost (median=82%) were among working-age adults ages 20 to 64.

Alcohol is the fourth leading cause of preventable death, the CDC reported.

Learn more about how to approach patients about problem drinking from ACP Internist’s cover article from January 2013. For easy-to-follow tips on how to screen for alcohol abuse, read ACP Internist’s article on available resources.