These States Have Taken a Deadly Toll from Alcohol Consumption

Over a five-year period, an average of 261 Americans died per day from causes linked to excessive alcohol use, new federal data shows.



Alcohol is a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. In the new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers estimate that an average of more than 95,000 people died from a cause attributable to excessive alcohol every year from 2011 to 2015, at an annual rate of 28 deaths per 100,000 people.


These deaths were from a wide range of causes – liver and heart disease, cirrhosis, certain types of cancer, suicide and traffic accidents, among others – and included children and passengers who died because of someone else’s drinking. On average, each death represented an estimated 29 years of potential life lost, according to the analysis. In all, that’s about 2.8 million years of potential life lost per year.


“Approximately one half of alcohol-attributable deaths were caused by chronic conditions, but acute alcohol-attributable deaths, all of which were caused by binge drinking, accounted for the majority of the (years of potential life lost) from excessive drinking,” the CDC report says, adding that “little progress has been made in preventing deaths caused by excessive drinking.”


These are the 5 states with the highest age-adjusted, average annual death rates attributable to excessive alcohol use from 2011-2015, along with their average number of deaths and years of potential life lost per year.


5. West Virginia

Death Rate: 36.1 Deaths: 738


4. Oklahoma

Death Rate: 37.2 Deaths: 1,497.


3. Arizona

Death Rate: 37.5 Deaths: 2,629


2. Montana

Death Rate: 37.6 Deaths: 416


1. New Mexico

Death Rate: 53.1 Deaths: 1,145



From cancers to car accidents and heart disease, excessive alcohol use is tied to a broad range of deadly incidents and conditions.


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