Alcohol deaths in America have soared in the past 10 years – particularly among women, a new report reveals.
The rate of alcohol-related deaths rocketed 35 percent between 2007 and 2017.
It shot up 67 percent for women alone.
However, the researchers say that, since so much attention has been consumed by the devastating toll of opioids on the US, the rise in alcohol fatalities has swelled under the radar, out of the spotlight of concern.
‘The story is that no one has noticed this,’ says Max Griswold of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), set up at the University of Washington by Bill and Melinda Gates, told USA Today.
‘It hasn’t really been researched before.’
The IHME data was part of a far-reaching report looking at death rates, causes of death, birth rates, fertility and more on a global scale.
This study zoomed in on US figures, showing a particularly concerning trend among women.
As with many sharp shifts in lifestyle habits, it’s difficult to identify one driving factor, but with something as widely acceptable – encouraged, even – as alcohol, it’s more plain.
Once, alcohol was taboo for women. Now, that’s not the case – but biology hasn’t changed, and (generally) alcohol can still pack a bigger punch for a woman’s body than a man’s.
‘It’s gone from being taboo for women to drink at all to being expected in some settings, professional groups – even to drink to intoxication,’ Deidra Roach, MD, medical project officer of the NIAAA Division of Treatment and Recovery Research, told WebMd.
But, she added: ‘Women are generally smaller than men and have less total body water and more total body fat. Blood alcohol level rises more quickly and stay elevated longer in women, so the harmful effects of alcohol, even if a man and woman drink same amount, will show up sooner in the women.’
Alcohol can cause deaths in many ways. It can cause liver disease, cancer, accidents, life-threatening digestive issues.