Excessive drinking causes 1 in 10 adult deaths: US

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Excessive alcohol consumption causes one in 10 deaths among United States adults, whether because of accidents or medical conditions that arise from long-term drinking, research showed on Thursday.

Each year, alcohol-related deaths cost the US economy US$224 billion (S$280.5 billion), mainly in lost productivity, said a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease said 10 percent of deaths of people aged from 20 to 64 - a total of 88,000 deaths per year - are linked to excessive alcohol.

"These deaths were due to health effects from drinking too much over time, such as breast cancer, liver disease, and heart disease," said the study. Others were "from drinking too much in a short period of time, such as violence, alcohol poisoning, and motor vehicle crashes".

Men were more likely to die from alcohol than women, with 70 per cent of the drinking deaths occurring among men.

Drinking too much is defined differently for men and women, according to the CDC.

Binge dinking is considered four or more drinks at an occasion for women, and five or more for men.

Heavy drinking is considered eight or more drinks per week for women, and 15 or more drinks a week for men.