Research & Resources

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Alcohol-Attributed Deaths in the United States, 1999–2020

This study aimed to examine the burden and trends in alcohol-attributed mortality rates in the U.S. by race and ethnicity from 1999 to 2020. Researchers used national mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (CDC WONDER) database and employed the ICD-10 coding system to identify alcohol-related deaths. Between 1999 and 2020, a total of 605,948 individuals died from alcohol-related causes in the U.S. The highest age-adjusted mortality rate (AAMR) was observed among American Indian/Alaska Native individuals, who were 3.6 times more likely to die from alcohol-related causes than non-Hispanic White individuals. Non-Hispanic Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic individuals showed lower AAMRs than non-Hispanic White individuals. Among individuals ages 15–24 years, American Indian/Alaska Native individuals were 12.2 times more likely to die from alcohol than non-Hispanic White individuals; Hispanic individuals were 1.7 times more likely. The highest AAMR among individuals ages 25–44 years was among American Indian/Alaska Native individuals, who were 7.8 times more likely to die from alcohol than non-Hispanic White individuals. Results of this study underscored the disparities in alcohol-related deaths among different racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., with American Indians/Alaska Natives experiencing the highest burden. Although the rates have plateaued among this group, they have been increasing among all other subgroups. To address these disparities and promote equitable alcohol-related health outcomes for all populations, further research is necessary to gain a better understanding of the underlying factors and develop culturally sensitive interventions regarding alcohol-attributed mortality rates.

This paper, “Racial and ethnic disparities in alcohol-attributed deaths in the United States, 1999–2020,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the journal International journal of environmental research and public health.

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