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Binge Drinking Causes Half of Alcohol-Related Deaths

White men aged 18 to 34 the most likely to binge drink

MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Binge drinking caused an estimated 43,731 (54.9 percent) of the 79,646 alcohol-related deaths each year from 2001 to 2005 in the United States, and is more common among men than women, with whites aged 18 to 34 those most likely to drink in this way, according to a report published in the April 3 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Jennifer L. Cremeens, Ph.D., of the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey to assess sociodemographic differences in patterns of binge drinking.

Binge drinking is more common among men than women, with 24.3 percent of men reporting consuming five or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion, and the 18 to 24 years age group had the highest prevalence of binge drinking, at 27.4 percent, followed by the 25 to 34 years age group at 24.4 percent, the investigators found. White people and those with an annual household income at or above $50,000 were the most likely to binge drink, with 17.5 percent and 17.4 percent of these demographic groups, respectively, reporting such drinking behavior.

"These findings underscore the need to implement effective population-based prevention strategies (e.g., increasing alcohol excise taxes) and develop effective interventions targeted at groups at higher risk," the authors write.

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