Why Are More People Dying From Alcohol?
About the Data Insights
Deaths related to alcohol more than doubled between 1999 and 2017 – and that only counts alcohol-related deaths documented in death certificates, which means the actual numbers could be much higher. While adults aged 45-74 had the highest rates of death related to alcohol, young adults aged 25-34 showed the biggest increases over time.
Women also saw an 85% jump in alcohol-related deaths over the study period, compared to a 35% increase for men - closing what was once a large gap in alcohol use and harms between men and women. While many of the deaths resulted from liver disease, researchers attribute the raise in deaths among middle-aged adults to “deaths of despair,” including overdoses and suicides.
This study highlights the continuing mental and behavioral health challenge our country is facing. Our webinar series on defying despair delved into the research and explored innovative strategies and evidence-based solutions to prevent deaths of despair and improve mental health and substance misuse.
Aaron White, PhD, I-Jen P. Castle, PhD, Ralph Hingson, ScD, Patricia Powell, PhD. Using death certificates to explore changes in alcohol-related mortality in the United States, 1999–2017, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Published online January 8, 2020.