Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Report Finds Rates of U.S. Deaths From Alcohol Use ‘Accelerating’

Deaths in the United States due to alcohol consumption appear to be rising, according to a report in JAMA Network Open.

“The rate of alcohol-induced deaths, largely due to alcoholic liver disease, increased substantially among men and women in the United States from 2000 to 2016, especially in more recent years,” wrote Susan Spillane, Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health and colleagues.

Spillane and colleagues analyzed data from the death certificates of U.S. residents (older than 15 years) who died between 2000 and 2016. The authors defined alcohol-induced deaths as those “due to alcohol consumption … [that] could be avoided if alcohol were not involved,” such as alcoholic liver disease, alcohol related mental and behavioral disorders, and accidental poisoning by alcohol.

Between 2000 and 2016, 425,045 alcohol-induced deaths occurred, the authors reported. The rate of death due to alcohol-induced causes increased overall from 2000 to 2016 at an average annual percentage change of 1.4% among men and 3.1% among women.

The largest increases in alcohol-induced deaths were observed among American Indian and Alaska Native men (average annual percentage change, 3.3%), American Indian and Alaska Native women (average annual percentage change, 4.2%), and white women (average annual percentage change, 4.1%).

“Although declines occurred among black women from 2000 to 2007, black men from 2000 to 2012, and Latino men from 2000 to 2013, these promising trends reversed course, and rates of alcohol-induced mortality increased from 2013 to 2016 in all examined racial/ethnic groups,” the authors wrote.

Spillane and colleagues continued, “[A]lcohol consumption levels are unlikely to fully explain mortality trends. Lack of access to high quality care for alcohol misuse and alcohol-associated diseases plays an important role in mortality vs. morbidity. … Because many of the consequences of alcohol consumption occur later in life, large increases in alcohol-induced deaths among younger age groups portend substantial future increases in alcohol-related disease.”

For related information, see the American Journal of Psychiatry article “Neurofunctional Domains Derived From Deep Behavioral Phenotyping in Alcohol Use Disorder.”

(Image: iStock/Savushkin)

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