A new report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington says that from 2007-2017, the number of alcohol-related deaths has increased to 35 percent, and the new statistics reveal that more women are affected.
The death rate, meanwhile, has also risen by 24 percent. The dramatic -and alarming-increase may just have been eclipsed by the attention to the opioid epidemic. But the thing is, alcohol is said to kill more people each year than overdoses- and that may come in many forms including through cancer, liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, and suicide, among other ways.
Deaths among women rose by an alarming 67 percent. It used to be that women drink far less than men. The women have traditionally been known, too, to be more disciplined with their drinking, sticking to moderate drinking that helped prevent heart disease, offsetting some of the harm of drinking.
Alcohol-related deaths among men rose to 29 percent.
Teen deaths, on the other hand, went down by about 16 percent during the same period. It’s the middle age bracket among people aged 45 to 64 that saw an increase in alcohol-related deaths by a quarter. The researchers based this on ER visits from 2006 to 2014.
Middle age people are especially more susceptible to alcohol-related deaths because long-term drinking can also lead to such dangerous health emergencies as heart failure, infections due to immune suppression, a type of dementia from alcohol-induced brain damage, stomach ulcers and a much higher risk at cancer.
While the study stresses that it is a given that people’s risk of dying naturally increases as they age, the new development is that alcohol is increasingly becoming the cause.
Max Grkiswold, who was part of making the alcohol estimates for the institute said their study presented something that’s not been well-noticed before. He said:”The story is that no one has noticed this. It hasn’t really been researched before.”
The institute’s analysis also reveals that the District of Columbia had the highest rate of death from alcohol in the country. Georgia came in second while Alabama in third. This, despite the fact, that Alabama ranked third among states with the strongest alcohol control policies based from a 2014 medical researchers report published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The study also points out that states can influence drinking, especially dangerous binge drinking, via policies such as taxes on alcohol and restrictions on where such drinks can be sold and the times it can be sold.
The states of Oklahoma, Utah, Kansas and Tennessee also have some of the strongest alcohol control policies. The study says states with more stringent alcohol control policies had lower rates of binge drinking.
Nevada, South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming and Wisconsin happened to be the states with the weakest alcohol control policies.