2014-04-03 / Community

Excessive alcohol now leading cause of death

Preventable deaths in Mich. from alcohol

LANSING – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report which included the results of a multi-state study on alcohol-attributed deaths and years of potential life lost. According to the study, Michigan reported 3,102 deaths and 85,387 YPLL annually from 2006-2010 due to excessive drinking.

From 2006-2010, 66 percent of deaths due to excessive drinking and 80 percent of the YPLL involved working-aged adults – adults between 20 and 64 years of age. Excessive alcohol use is the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and in the year 2006 alone, it cost the state of Michigan $8.2 billion. The report highlights data from 11 states, including Michigan, and shows that excessive drinking is a serious public health concern, particularly among working-age adults.

“For many people, excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of injury, disease and death,” said James K. Haveman, director at the MDCH. “This report allows us to monitor these alcoholattributable health outcomes so that we can continue to build effective and comprehensive prevention policies.”

Routine monitoring of alcoholattributable health outcomes, including deaths and YPLL, supports the planning and implementation of evidencebased prevention strategies to reduce excessive drinking and related harms. Such strategies include limiting alcohol outlet density, increasing the price of alcohol, and holding alcohol retailers liable for harms related to the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors and intoxicated patrons (dram shop liability).

MDCH is currently working to improve public health surveillance on excessive alcohol use and related health outcomes among Michigan’s residents. In addition to these efforts, MDCH supports state and local public health activities to reduce alcoholattributable deaths and years of potential life lost.

For more information about the prevention of excessive alcohol use, visit www.michigan. gov/substanceabuseepi. To read the full MMWR, visit http:// www.cdc. gov/ mmwr/ preview/ mmwrhtml/ mm6310a2. htm? s_ cid=mm6310a2_ w.

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