CDC: Alcohol kills older men more than college students

This many beers a day will not kill you. (Photo by me)

This many beers a day will not kill you. (Photo by me)

In the 1980s, the drinking age was lower in Georgia and it is fair to say the suds flowed freely. The fraternity house even had a soda machine that dispensed beer if you gave it the secret handshake.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about six people a day die from alcohol poisoning and the most likely victim isn’t a college kid doing a keg stand, but an older white male between the ages of 35 and 64.

The CDC says the study is “surprising,” but is it really? Young men and women think they are bulletproof and most actuarial tables seem to agree.

Men in their 50s that drink several beers a day probably aren’t dedicating a lot of time to exercise.

The CDC looked at death certificate data from 2010 to 2012 and said an average of 2,221 people in the U.S. die each year from alcohol poisoning, making it one of the leading preventable causes of death.

Alcohol poisoning usually happens when someone binge drinks. For men, binge drinking involves consuming five or more drinks in two or three hours. Women, who can grow as large as men, only get four drinks for some reason.

Older adults accounted for 76 percent of all alcohol poisoning deaths. Those under 25 accounted for less than 5 percent.

Alaska had the highest per capita alcohol death rate while Alabama had the fewest, but Alabama’s numbers may spike if they have more games like the Sugar Bowl.

Georgia had an average of 62 alcohol poisoning deaths per year, ranking it 17th, worst among “Deep South” states.

The good news? The CDC says one or two drinks a day has some health benefit.

But, as I tell my sister-in-law, a bottle of wine is not considered one drink.

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