In the Journals

Alcohol-related deaths double in US since 1999

The number of alcohol-related deaths in the United States each year has doubled between 1999 and 2017, and women experienced the greatest annual increase in these deaths, according to data from a study evaluating death certificates published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

“Given evidence that death certicates often do not reect the contribution of alcohol, the magnitude of alcohol-related mortality in the United States is likely much higher than suggested from death certicates alone,” Aaron M. White, PhD, senior scientific advisor to the director at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and colleagues wrote.

White and colleagues collected data from all death certificates filed in the U.S. between 1999 and 2017, excluding those of non-U.S. residents.

Researchers found that the number of alcohol-related deaths per year among people aged 16 years and older doubled from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017.

White AM, et al. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2020;doi:10.1111/acer.14239.

The rate of alcohol-related deaths increased by 50.9%, from 16.9% to 25.5% per 100,000 people.

In 1999, 1.5% of approximately 2.4 million deaths were alcohol-related. This percentage increased to 2.6% of approximately 2.8 million deaths in 2017.

Liver disease was the most common cause of alcohol-related death, accounting for 30.7% (n = 22,245) of these deaths in 2017. The same year, overdoses from alcohol alone or combined with other substances were responsible for 17.9% (n = 12,954) of alcohol-related deaths.

Although most alcohol-related deaths occurred in men (76.4%), women experienced a greater increase — 135.8% — in the number of these deaths over the study period.

When evaluating risk by racial and ethnic groups, White and colleagues found that white women experienced the largest annual growth in alcohol-related deaths, with an annual increase of 4.4%.

“Increases in alcohol use and related harms among women are concerning given growing evidence that women are at greater risk than men at comparable levels of alcohol exposure for alcohol-related cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, alcohol-related liver disease, and acute liver failure due to excessive drinking,” White and colleagues wrote.

Healio Primary Care compiled a list of stories to provide readers with up-to-date information on alcohol consumption and managing patients with alcohol use disorder. – by Erin Michael

Q&A: Overcoming barriers to alcohol use disorder treatment

HHS recently announced that six institutions would split $16 million to develop strategies for primary care providers to address unhealthy alcohol use in their patients. The funding is desperately needed, according to AAFP president-elect Ada Stewart, MD. Read more.

Ketamine infusion may improve alcohol use disorder outcomes

A ketamine infusion improved measures of drinking among individuals with alcohol dependence who were engaged in motivational enhancement therapy, according to results of a randomized controlled pilot trial published in American Journal of Psychiatry. Read more.

No such thing as ‘free drinks’: Experts debate risks of alcohol consumption

Current national guidelines recommend that alcohol, if consumed at all, should be consumed in moderation — one drink per day for women and two for men — and not at all in those aged younger than 21 years. At the 2019 Food & Nutrition Convention & Expo, experts evaluated data from a recent meta-analysis and discussed whether the guidelines should change. Read more.

USPSTF: Screen adults for unhealthy alcohol use

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently issued final recommendations that stated adults older than 18 years, including pregnant women, should be screened for unhealthy alcohol use in primary care settings. In addition, those found to participate in hazardous or risky drinking should be offered brief behavioral counseling interventions to reduce unhealthy alcohol use. Read more.

Amount of alcohol consumed tied to dementia risk in older adults

The amount of alcohol older adults consume affects their risk for dementia differently depending on whether they have mild cognitive impairment, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. Read more.

53 million American adults impacted by others’ alcohol use

More than 50 million adults in the U.S. were harmed by another person’s alcohol use in 2015, according to findings recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Read more.

Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

The number of alcohol-related deaths in the United States each year has doubled between 1999 and 2017, and women experienced the greatest annual increase in these deaths, according to data from a study evaluating death certificates published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

“Given evidence that death certicates often do not reect the contribution of alcohol, the magnitude of alcohol-related mortality in the United States is likely much higher than suggested from death certicates alone,” Aaron M. White, PhD, senior scientific advisor to the director at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and colleagues wrote.

White and colleagues collected data from all death certificates filed in the U.S. between 1999 and 2017, excluding those of non-U.S. residents.

Researchers found that the number of alcohol-related deaths per year among people aged 16 years and older doubled from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017.

White AM, et al. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2020;doi:10.1111/acer.14239.

The rate of alcohol-related deaths increased by 50.9%, from 16.9% to 25.5% per 100,000 people.

In 1999, 1.5% of approximately 2.4 million deaths were alcohol-related. This percentage increased to 2.6% of approximately 2.8 million deaths in 2017.

Liver disease was the most common cause of alcohol-related death, accounting for 30.7% (n = 22,245) of these deaths in 2017. The same year, overdoses from alcohol alone or combined with other substances were responsible for 17.9% (n = 12,954) of alcohol-related deaths.

Although most alcohol-related deaths occurred in men (76.4%), women experienced a greater increase — 135.8% — in the number of these deaths over the study period.

When evaluating risk by racial and ethnic groups, White and colleagues found that white women experienced the largest annual growth in alcohol-related deaths, with an annual increase of 4.4%.

“Increases in alcohol use and related harms among women are concerning given growing evidence that women are at greater risk than men at comparable levels of alcohol exposure for alcohol-related cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, alcohol-related liver disease, and acute liver failure due to excessive drinking,” White and colleagues wrote.

Healio Primary Care compiled a list of stories to provide readers with up-to-date information on alcohol consumption and managing patients with alcohol use disorder. – by Erin Michael

Q&A: Overcoming barriers to alcohol use disorder treatment

HHS recently announced that six institutions would split $16 million to develop strategies for primary care providers to address unhealthy alcohol use in their patients. The funding is desperately needed, according to AAFP president-elect Ada Stewart, MD. Read more.

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Ketamine infusion may improve alcohol use disorder outcomes

A ketamine infusion improved measures of drinking among individuals with alcohol dependence who were engaged in motivational enhancement therapy, according to results of a randomized controlled pilot trial published in American Journal of Psychiatry. Read more.

No such thing as ‘free drinks’: Experts debate risks of alcohol consumption

Current national guidelines recommend that alcohol, if consumed at all, should be consumed in moderation — one drink per day for women and two for men — and not at all in those aged younger than 21 years. At the 2019 Food & Nutrition Convention & Expo, experts evaluated data from a recent meta-analysis and discussed whether the guidelines should change. Read more.

USPSTF: Screen adults for unhealthy alcohol use

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently issued final recommendations that stated adults older than 18 years, including pregnant women, should be screened for unhealthy alcohol use in primary care settings. In addition, those found to participate in hazardous or risky drinking should be offered brief behavioral counseling interventions to reduce unhealthy alcohol use. Read more.

Amount of alcohol consumed tied to dementia risk in older adults

The amount of alcohol older adults consume affects their risk for dementia differently depending on whether they have mild cognitive impairment, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. Read more.

53 million American adults impacted by others’ alcohol use

More than 50 million adults in the U.S. were harmed by another person’s alcohol use in 2015, according to findings recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Read more.

Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.