Legal Guide

Relationship between US Adult Deaths and Excessive Alcohol Use

There has been a steady and alarming increase in DUI deaths in recent years. However, the recent study of the JAMA Network Journals of the American Medical Association gives a specific number. According to the article published, an estimated 20.3 percent of deaths of adults between twenty and forty-nine are caused by alcohol use.

Furthermore, the study established that greater implementation of evidence-based alcohol policies could reduce the proportion. Between 2015 and 2019, 12.9 percent of deaths of adults between 20 and 64 were caused by alcohol use. If the study’s conclusions are anything to go by, even this number is far too high.

Alcohol-Attributed Deaths According to Age Group: The Stats

According to the study, there were 140,557 deaths, where 69.1 percent were men and 30.9 percent were women. Among adults aged between twenty and sixty-four, out of the 694,660 deaths recorded, 89,697 were attributed to excessive alcohol use.

While the rate of alcohol-attributable deaths per 100,000 increased with age, there were more deaths among younger groups. The leading causes of alcohol-attributable deaths were the same for men and women, including car crashes, homicide, and alcoholic liver disease.

Alcohol-Attributed Deaths According to State: The Stats

Going by the number of alcohol-attributed deaths according to state, the percentage was lower in Southeastern and Western states, the upper Midwest, and New England. Overall, according to the state, deaths ranged from 9.3 percent in Mississippi to 21.7 percent in New Mexico. Going by age group, the numbers range from 22.4 percent in Utah among adults between 20 and 34 to 33.3 percent in New Mexico.

In the study, the researchers discovered a wide range of alcohol-attributable deaths across the United States. They calculated deaths due to acute conditions using direct alcohol-attributable fractions (AAFs) for certain chronic (cancer) and acute (injuries) conditions. They carried out the calculations based on high blood alcohol concentrations.

What Characterizes “Excessive Drinking?”

The rule of thumb is that a “drink” means twelve ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of liquor, or five ounces of wine. Other studies, however, indicate that regularly consuming a moderate alcohol amount can be beneficial for one’s health. Nevertheless, one must not overindulge in alcohol for health and legal reasons.

The researchers estimated deaths from excessive alcohol consumption to be less than two drinks for women and less than four for men. Alcohol consumption is a leading cause of death in the country and a preventable one. More so, death rates from alcohol-attributable causes, such as alcoholic liver disease, have increased in the past decade.

The study’s findings suggest an estimated one in eight deaths among US adults between ages 20 and 64. These deaths, including one in five deaths among those ages 20 to 49, were attributable to excessive use of alcohol. By implementing evidence-based, population-level alcohol policies like regulation of alcohol outlet density or increase in alcohol taxes, premature deaths can be reduced.


Thanks to the study conducted by these researchers, we now have a US-based assessment of alcohol-attributable causes. They used the conditions in the CDC’s ARDI (Alcohol-Related Disease Impact) application to estimate the mean annual deaths from excessive alcohol use.

Excessive use of alcohol is rampant in the US, leading to several medical conditions that result in eventual death. If you are facing charges for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a conviction can have serious consequences for your finances, freedom, and reputation. A DUI lawyer can help you understand your state's DUI laws, assess the circumstances of your arrest, and develop a strategy to minimize the impact on your life.

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