Binge drinking most likely to kill middle-aged Americans, CDC says
By David Beasley
ATLANTA (Reuters) - It's not college students or teenagers but rather middle-aged Americans who are most likely to die from drinking too much alcohol too quickly, according to a study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.
An average of six people die each day in the United States from alcohol poisoning or excessively high levels of alcohol in the blood, which is typically caused by binge drinking, the federal study found.
Three out of four of those who died were between the ages of 35 and 64, the study found, countering the popular perception that young people are more likely than their elders to die from binge drinking.
Only 5.1 percent of the deaths were drinkers between the ages of 15 and 24, the study found.
"Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is a lot of binge drinking going on by people who are post college-age," the study's co-author, Robert Brewer, told reporters. "We were surprised by these findings."
The CDC defines binge drinking as consuming four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men on a single occasion.
Fewer than a third of the people who died of alcohol poisoning were considered alcoholics, the study found.
Analyzing death certificate data from 2010 through 2012, researchers found that an average of 2,200 people, more than half of them white males, died from alcohol poisoning each year. Continued...