Nearly 90,000 lives are lost each year due to excessive drinking, according to Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That’s according to analysts at financial news site 24/7 Wall St. who reviewed the most recent data from the CDC, state and U.S. Census, and the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse to identify the states reporting the highest levels of adults who binge drink or drink heavily.
In some states, 1 in 4 Americans partake in binge drinking or heavy drinking. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in a single occasion for women and five or more for men, whereas heavy drinking is defined as consuming at least eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men.
“Nationwide, 18.0% of adults binge drink or drink heavily. Excessive drinking over time can lead to myriad health issues, both mentally and physically, including depression and cardiovascular disease,” researchers found.
With 25 percent of adults reporting binge drinking or drinking heavily, North Dakota topped the list. Unsurprisingly, the state also has the highest rate of alcohol-related driving deaths, with 46.7 percent of all roadway fatalities attributable to alcohol.
The national rate of roadway fatalities due to alcohol consumption is 30 percent.
- Overall rank: 30
- Percentage of adults drinking excessively: 16.8
- Percentage of alcohol-related driving deaths: 23.4 (fourth lowest)
- Percentage of adults in fair or poor health: 17.5 (16th highest)
- Drunkest metro area: Athens-Clarke County
The state’s percentage of alcohol-related driving deaths is the fourth lowest in the country, but the number of adults in fair or poor health ranks Georgia No. 16 in that category.
“Despite the lower share of adults who drink to excess, Georgia has a relatively high premature death rate. An estimated 377 of every 100,000 people die before the age of 75 in Georgia,” 24/7 Wall St. noted in its analysis. “Excess consumption of alcohol is only one factor that can contribute to poor health — obesity can also cause serious health complications. The adult obesity rate in Georgia of 29.6% (is) above the national rate of 28.0%.”
This isn’t the first time Georgians’ poor health was recognized in a national ranking. According to a WalletHub study of the best and worst states for health care, Georgia ranked sixth worst.
The state also ranked fifth for one of the nation's highest infant mortality rates — 7.5 per 1,000 live births, according to the CDC.
- North Dakota (24.7 percent)
- Wisconsin (24.5 percent)
- Alaska (22.1 percent)
- Montana (21.8 percent)
- Illinois (21.2 percent)
- Minnesota (21.1 percent)
- Iowa (21 percent)
- Hawaii (20.5 percent)
- Nebraska (20.4 percent)
- Michigan (20 percent)
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