Alcohol Deaths In U.S. Soar Among The Middle-aged, Women: Report

Alcohol deaths in U.S. soar among the middle-aged, women: Report

NEW YORK, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Nov, 2018 ) :Alcohol is killing more adults in the United States than the opioid epidemic, according to a new study.

From 2007 to 2017, the number of deaths attributable to alcohol increased 35 percent, the USA Today newspaper reported, citing the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Deaths among men rose 29 percent, while rising 67 percent among women, the study found, an alarming statistic because females once drank far less than males.

Deaths among people aged 45 to 64 rose by about 25 percent.

"The story is that no one has noticed this," Max Griswold, who helped develop the alcohol estimates for the institute, said. "It hasn't really been researched before." Washington, DC, the capital of the United States, had the highest rate of death from alcohol in the country, according to the institute's analysis.

The institute published a study in August that showed no amount of alcohol consumption is healthy and any slight health benefits of drinking alcohol are clearly offset by the risks.

The US opioid crisis, which kills about 72,000 people a year, has turned away America's attention from the slower moving epidemic of alcohol, especially in Southern states and the nation's capital.

"It's an increase that has been obscured by the opioid epidemic. But alcohol kills more people each year than overdoses through cancer, liver cirrrhosis, pancreatitis and suicide, among other ways,” USA Today said in its report.

Well Being Trust, a health advocate group, called the rising mortality rates from alcohol, drugs and suicide "despair deaths." Drinking can lead to cancers all along the digestive tract, from the mouth to the colon. About 15 percent of US breast cancer cases are considered to be caused by alcohol.

The "direct toxicity" of alcohol damages the nervous system from the brain down to the spinal cord and to peripheral nerves, says Dr. Anthony Marchetti, an emergency room doctor at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston, Georgia.

Marchetti said long-term alcohol drinking can also lead to heart failure, infections due to immune suppression, a type of dementia from alcohol-induced brain damage, stomach ulcers and a much higher risk of cancer.

Between 2008 and 2014, the rate of ER visits involving acute alcohol consumption rose nearly 40 percent, according to the study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Psychologists attribute growing alcoholism to the high level of workplace stress that began accelerating during the Great Recession, loneliness linked to social media and increasing pressures on working mo the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

The opioid epidemic kills an average of 72,000 people per year, while alcohol kills 88,000. In those 88,000 deaths are 2.5 million years of potential life lost, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The surge of alcohol related deaths is new. In ten years, the number of deaths by alcohol have increased 35 percent according the new report shared by USA Today on Friday. The statistics are based on findings from 2007 to 2017.

Most affected by the rising alcohol epidemic are young women. Among women, deaths rose 67 percent, while for men, the percentage rose only 27 percent.

Women are more susceptible to alcohol-related risks because they typically weigh less than men, and can feel the effects of alcohol faster, according to the National Institute on Alcohol and Abuse and Alcoholism. The complications that most affect women who drink excessively are Liver Damage, Heart Disease, Breast Cancer and complications with pregnancy.

According to a survey by the Institute in 2015, 9.3 percent of women surveyed drank alcohol while pregnant in the month before taking the survey. 51.1 percent of women drank alcohol in general, 22 percent of them engaging in binge drinking in the month prior. 61.3 percent of men drank in the month prior to the survey, and 32.1 percent binge drank.

5.4 percent of the female drinkers received help for an alcohol disorder, while 7.4 percent of men did.

Teen drinking deaths rates are down 16 percent, while drinking deaths for those between the ages of 45 and 64 increased about 25 percent.

The deaths associated with over-drinking are not necessarily instantaneous. Many of the causes lie in issues developed over time from excessive drinking, like liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, cancer and suicide.

In terms of location, the District of Columbia tops the list for most alcohol deaths. It’s followed by Georgia and Alabama. States with lower alcohol control policies, like Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and Wyoming, have higher rates of binge drinking than those with stricter restrictions.

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