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Kentucky State Police officer Charles Tinsley talked with students about binge drinking in Stanford, Ky., in May.

Clay Jackson • Associated Press,

Alcohol's death toll: 87,798 a year

  • Article by: Karen Kaplan
  • Los Angeles Times
  • June 26, 2014 - 7:38 PM

– The death toll from binge drinking and other forms of excessive alcohol use in the United States is just shy of 88,000 per year, a new analysis found.

Those casualties erased more than 2.5 million years of life that would have been lived each year had victims not been killed in drunken-driving accidents, by liver cirrhosis or as a result of other alcohol-related causes, the report found.

Binge drinking is responsible for more than half of these alcohol-related deaths, the study said. The authors defined binge drinking as five or more drinks in a row for men and four or more drinks at a time for women.

Overall, excessive alcohol use cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006 alone, said a report published last year in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. That worked out to a societal cost of $1.90 per drink.

The new study, published Thursday in Preventing Chronic Disease, found alcohol-attributable deaths came to 87,798. That worked out to 27.9 deaths per 100,000 Americans; 71 percent were men.

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