Research & Resources

Estimated Deaths Attributable to Excessive Alcohol Use Among US Adults Aged 20 to 64 Years, 2015 to 2019

This study, of mean annual alcohol-attributable deaths among 2,089,287 U.S. residents between January 2015 and December 2019, assessed alcohol-attributable deaths among adults ages 20–64 overall; by sex, age group, and state; and as a proportion of total deaths. Of 694,660 mean deaths per year among adults ages 20–64, an estimated 12.9% (89,697 per year) were attributable to excessive alcohol consumption. This percentage was higher among men (15.0%) than women (9.4%). By state, alcohol-attributable deaths ranged from 9.3% of total deaths in Mississippi to 21.7% in New Mexico. Among adults ages 20–49, alcohol-attributable deaths accounted for an estimated 20.3% of total deaths. The findings suggest that an estimated 1 in 8 total deaths among U.S. adults ages 20–64 years were attributable to excessive alcohol use, including 1 in 5 deaths among adults ages 20–49 years. These findings suggest that the number of premature deaths could be reduced with increased implementation of evidenced-based, population-level alcohol policies, such as increasing alcohol taxes or regulating alcohol outlet density.

This paper, “Estimated deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use among US adults aged 20 to 64 years, 2015 to 2019,” was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in the journal JAMA network open.

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