Deaths from alcohol more than doubled in the past 20 years, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Fatalities for women (85%) rose at a faster rate than men (39%) Total U.S. alcohol deaths reached 72,558 in 2017 — up from 35,914 in 1999 — with almost a third tied to liver disease. Emergency-room visits related to alcohol increased 76% in the 16 years ending in 2015. More women than men visited ERs with alcohol-related sicknesses, according to the research. Alcohol accounted

Drinking deaths double in last two decades, with faster rate for women

Deaths from boozing and binging more than doubled in the last two decades, as alcohol consumption per person rose 8%, with sharp increases in the rate for women and the middle-aged. 

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Men were three-quarters of the total, but fatalities for women rose at a faster rate: 85% versus 39% for males, according to 1999-2017 research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 

Total U.S. alcohol deaths reached 72,558 in 2017 — up from 35,914 in 1999 — with almost one-third tied to liver disease, according to the study. Over 18 years, the total was almost 1 million. 

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“The report is a wakeup call to the growing threat alcohol poses to public health,” Director George Koob of the institute said in a statement. “Alcohol-related deaths involving injuries, overdoses and chronic diseases are increasing across a wide swath of the population.”  

Here are 12 tips from Kristen Smith, a dietitian at Atlanta Medical Center, to keep in mind while drinking Remember that all calories count, even liquid calories Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 per day for men Be aware of portions for different alcoholic beverages. Beer: 12 oz. Distilled liquor: 1.5 oz. Wine: 5 oz Sip on your beverage instead of gulping so you drink less and can enjoy your beverage longer If you're drinking wine, drink a darker one so you c

Higher rates of deaths among middle-aged and older drinkers may raise concerns for public health experts, given projected growth of the population of people 65 and older to 95 million in 2060 from 51 million in 2017. Alcohol accounted for 2.6% of all deaths in 2017. 

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“Even if rates of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms stay the same, the number of alcohol-related health-care visits and fatalities could increase substantially, thereby increasing the overall burden of alcohol on public health,” according to the research published in “Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.” 

A recent study says moderate consumption of alcohol can raise your cancer risk. Researchers found a strong correlation between alcohol and cancer. They found the correlation held regardless of the type of drink. The scientists suggested implementing a higher tax on alcohol.

Women dying 

Among women, the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in 1999 was among 65- to 74-year-olds, followed by 55 to 64. By 2017, women ages 55 to 64 led, followed by ages 45 to 54. The annual increase of death for women jumped to 5.2% a year in 2010-17 from 2.1% a year in 1999 to 2010, the research-based death certificates showed. 

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“The rapid increase in deaths involving alcohol among women is troubling and parallels the increases in alcohol consumption among women over the past few decades,” Koob said. 

The study said women were at greater risk for cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, alcohol-related liver disease and acute liver failure from excessive drinking. 

»RELATED: Light alcohol consumption linked to cancer

Researchers said further study of alcohol use over time between males and females and by age groups, race and ethnicity is needed “for understanding the public health burden of alcohol.” 

People ages 45-74 had the highest death rate over the two decades, four times higher than those ages 25-34, but the younger group had the largest average annual increase at 5.9%, the researchers said. 

Emergency room visits related to alcohol increased 76% in the 16 years ending in 2015. 

Drinking just one glass of wine or beer a day may increase your risk of breast cancer, according to the World Cancer Research Fund. An average of 10 grams a day of alcohol That means a small glass of wine or an 8-ounce beer could put you at a greater risk of breast cancer, the study found.

More women than men visited ERs with alcohol-related sicknesses, according to the study. The role of alcohol isn’t always clear when a death certificate is completed, making it difficult to measure the full magnitude of drinking and death, the study said. 

The researchers led by Aaron White, senior scientific adviser to Koob, found the trends in drinking were different for men than for women. 

While the prevalence of drinking and binging didn’t change for men, there was a 10.1% rise in the prevalence of drinking and a 23.3% increase in binge drinking among women.

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