Healthy Living

Alcohol-Related ER Visits Spike 38% — For Both Men And Women

The rate for alcohol-related emergency room visits, excluding numbers for falls and car crashes, jumped 38 percent in recent years for both men and women. Creative Commons

Americans are visiting hospital emergency rooms (ER) in larger numbers for alcohol-related ailments than during previous years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this week.

Trips to the hospital brought on by excessive alcohol consumption jumped 38 percent for 2009-2010 from 2001-2002, according to federal health data released by the agency. Although men were more likely to require emergency care for alcohol-related emergencies, the rate increased equally for both men and women.

The numbers exclude emergency room visits for injuries incurred in alcohol-related mishaps, such as falls and car crashes, and included diagnoses for alcoholic psychosis, alcohol-dependence syndrome, alcohol abuse, alcoholic polyneuropathy, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, alcoholic gastritis, alcoholic liver cirrhosis, excess blood alcohol, and alcohol poisoning.

"From 2001–2002 to 2009–2010, the rate of emergency department visits for alcohol-related diagnoses for males increased 38%, from 68 to 94 visits per 10,000 population," a CDC spokesman said in a statement. "Over the same period, the visit rate for females also increased 38%, from 26 to 36 visits per 10,000 population."

Aside from such health diagnoses, excessive drinking presents Americans with the leading risk factor for injury and the third leading cause of preventable death. Every year, more than 75,000 Americans die prematurely from alcohol abuse — or one every seven minutes. Aside from the human cost, the excessive consumption of alcohol costs the United States more than $223 billion annually.

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