Alcohol-Related Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Link: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2790491

Graphic:

Excerpt:

The number of deaths involving alcohol increased between 2019 and 2020 (from 78 927 to 99 017 [relative change, 25.5%]), as did the age-adjusted rate (from 27.3 to 34.4 per 100 000 [relative change, 25.9%]) (Table). Comparatively, deaths from all causes had smaller relative increases in number (from 2 823 460 to 3 353 547 [18.8%]) and rate (from 938.3 to 1094.3 per 100 000 [16.6%]). Alcohol-related deaths accounted for 2.8% of all deaths in 2019 and 3.0% in 2020.

The Figure presents the number of alcohol-related deaths in 2019 and 2020 by month, with provisional data included for the first 6 months of 2021.

Rates increased for all age groups, with the largest increases occurring for people aged 35 to 44 years (from 22.9 to 32.0 per 100 000 [39.7%]) and 25 to 34 years (from 11.8 to 16.1 per 100 000 [37.0%]). Increases in rates were similar for females (from 13.7 to 17.5 per 100 000 [27.3%]) and males (from 42.1 to 52.6 per 100 000 [25.1%]) (Table).

The number of deaths with an underlying cause of alcohol-associated liver diseases increased from 24 106 to 29 504 (22.4%) and the number of deaths with an underlying cause of alcohol-related mental and behavioral disorders increased from 11 261 to 15 211 (35.1%). Opioid overdose deaths involving alcohol as a contributing cause increased from 8503 to 11 969 (40.8%). Deaths in which alcohol contributed to overdoses specifically on synthetic opioids other than methadone (eg, fentanyl) increased from 6302 to 10 032 (59.2%).

Author(s): Aaron M. White, PhD1; I-Jen P. Castle, PhD1; Patricia A. Powell, PhD1; et al

Publication Date: 18 Mar 2022

Publication Site: JAMA Network

More Americans 65 and Under Died from Alcohol-Related Causes Than Covid-19 in 2020, Study Finds

Link: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/more-americans-65-and-under-died-from-alcohol-related-causes-than-covid-19-in-2020-study-finds/

Excerpt:

Alcohol-related deaths increased 25 percent from 2019 to 2020, with alcohol-related deaths among adults younger than 65 outnumbering deaths from Covid-19 in the same age group in 2020, a new study found.

Alcohol-related deaths, including from liver disease and accidents, increased to 99,017 in 2020, up from 78,927 the year prior, according to the study performed by researchers with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

While 74,408 Americans ages 16 to 64 died of alcohol-related causes, 74,075 individuals under 65 died of Covid-19, the study found. The rate of increase for alcohol-related deaths in 2020 (25 percent) was greater than the rate of increase of deaths from all causes (16.6 percent).

The study shows just another unintended consequence of Covid-19 lockdowns and mitigation measures.

Author(s): Brittany Bernstein

Publication Date: 22 March 2022

Publication Site: National Review