Jump in alcohol-related deaths poses major health issue, researchers say

Significant increases in alcohol-induced deaths have occurred among all racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. over the past two decades, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

For the study, researchers examined trends in alcohol-related death for all Americans over age 15 between 2000 and 2016 using data from the CDC's National Vital Statistics System.

Four study findings:

1. A total of 425,045 alcohol-induced deaths were identified between 2000 and 2016.

2. The annual alcohol-related mortality rate increased for both men and women over the study period, but showed a significant acceleration between 2012 and 2016. 

3. The alcohol-induced mortality rate increased by 4.2 percent for men from 2012-16 and by 7.1 percent for women from 2013-16.

4. American Indian and Alaska Natives, along with white women, experienced the greatest increases in alcohol-induced death.

"The recent acceleration of alcohol-induced deaths observed in this study indicates a broad public health challenge worthy of urgent attention," researchers concluded, noting that increases in alcohol-related death among young Americans may also signify future increases in alcohol-related disease.

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