WASHINGTON — It's no secret that America's favorite legal drug has vast impacts on public health. But just how closely binge drinking and overconsumption of alcohol are linked to deaths may come as a surprise.
One in 10 deaths of working-age adults every year is attributable to "excessive alcohol consumption," according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — a finding that keeps booze as "a leading cause of premature mortality nationwide."
The 88,000 deaths annually from 2006 to 2010 included acute causes, such as violence, alcohol poisoning and car crashes, as well as the health effects of prolonged overconsumption of alcohol, such as liver disease, heart disease and breast cancer. Excessive drinking shortened the lives of the people who died by about 30 years each, for a total of about 2.5 million years of potential life lost.
Alcoholic liver disease topped the list of all alcohol-related deaths, causing 14,364 a year. Next were motor vehicle crashes (12,460), suicide (8,179) and homicide (7,756).