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Excessive Drinking Major Cause of Death in U.S.

1 in 10 Americans under 65 die early, from too much alcohol.

The Centers for Disease Control says a tenth of working adults in the United States are drinking themselves to death.

A new report published Thursday by the CDC says excessive alcohol use accounts for one in 10 deaths among Americans 20 to 64 years old.  According to the department, excessive alcohol use led to about 88,000 deaths a year from 2006 to 2010, and shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years.

The agency says some deaths including many from  cancer, liver disease and heart disease, were due to health effects from drinking too much over time.  

Other deaths such as those from violence, alcohol poisoning, and motor vehicle crashes resulted from drinking too much in a short period of time. In total, the CDC estimates there were 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year due to excessive alcohol use.

Seventy percent of the deaths occurred in males and about 5 percent involved people under 21.

The highest death rate due to excessive drinking was in New Mexico (51 deaths per 100,000 population), and the lowest was in New Jersey (19.1 per 100,000).

“Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death that kills many Americans in the prime of their lives,” said Ursula E. Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.


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