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Vital Signs: Alcohol Poisoning Deaths — United States, 2010–2012
  • Published Date:
    Jan 09 2015
  • Source:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015; 63(53):1238-1242.
Filetype[PDF-265.26 KB]


Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    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.

  • Pubmed ID:
    25577989
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4646044
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