CDC: Americans Binge 17 Billion Alcoholic Drinks Annually

Alcohol

Americans are no strangers to boozing it up, according to a new study that found that one in six U.S. adults are binge drinkers. Annually, binge drinking is responsible for more than half of the 88,000 alcohol-attributable deaths and three-quarters of the $249 billion in economic costs associated with excessive drinking in the United States.

If you find this sobering, keep reading.

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that U.S. adults consumed 17.5 billion binge drinks in 2015, a figure equivalent to 37.4 million Americans tossing back nearly 470 binge drinks each year.

The researchers then multiplied the estimated total number of binge-drinking episodes by the average largest number of drinks consumed per episode, for a whopping 17.5 billion binge drinks consumed in 2015.

How about we characterize binge drinking: for men, it's having at least five alcoholic beverages in a two-hour window; women need to drink no less than four beverages in that traverse for it be thought about gorging.

The results came after Brewer and his team examined CDC data from the center's 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

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In addition, more than half of the binge drinks consumed during the study were by adults age 35 or older.

Binge drinking was also much more common in men than women, with 4 out of 5 binge drinks consumed by males.

The biggest bingers were non-Hispanic whites (19.2%) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (17.9%). And though binging was higher among younger age groups, it was present across all ages, including those 65 years old or older.

Finally, binge dinking was more common in lower income households and among people with lower educational levels. Most binge drinkers were located in Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Hawaii. Meanwhile, Washington DC, New Jersey, New York, and Washington had the fewest numbers of binge drinkers.

The dangers of binge drinking can range from social issues like unintentional injuries, interpersonal violence and suicide. Over time, binge drinking also increases the risk of serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and liver failure. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force also recommends alcohol screening and brief intervention by health care providers as part of routine clinical care.

Najibah Rehman, MD, MPH, is a third-year Preventive Medicine Resident at the University of MI, working in the ABC News Medical Unit.

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