Deaths Attributable to Alcohol Abuse on the Rise

Deaths Attributable to Alcohol Abuse on the Rise

Researchers from Cedars-Sinai just announced findings in JAMA Network Open on alcohol abuse (AUD) that confirm the fears of many. Deaths from alcohol abuse have risen sharply during the pandemic.

Mortality rates for all age groups and sexes have increased.

The research team based their findings on deidentified 2012-2019 data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (CDC WONDER) database. They then used that data to project the alcohol-related mortality rate for 2020 and 2021.

When comparing actual and projected (expected) mortality rates, the investigators found a jump in AUD mortality overall and within each subgroup during the pandemic. “The observed AUD-related mortality rates increased by 24.79% in 2020 and 21.95% in 2021 vs. the projected rates.”[i]

Among all age groups, the 25-44 year-old group showed the largest jump in AUD mortality (40.47% in 2020 and 33.95% in 2021). The increases for men and women were nearly identical (approximately 24.65% for women and men in 2020 vs. 20.08% and 22.41% in 2021, respectively).[ii]

Yee Hui Yeo, MD, MSc, lead author of the study, pointed out that “alcohol use disorder is often under-reported, so actual mortality rates related to alcohol use may be even higher than reported.”

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