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    Alcohol-Related Deaths Surged to 488 Per Day During Height of Pandemic: Report

    An average of 488 people died per day in the U.S. from excessive alcohol consumption in 2020-21, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    The average number of alcohol-related deaths rose more than 29% from 2016-17 to 2020-21, CNN reports. During 2016-2017 there were 137,927 alcohol-related deaths, compared with 178,307 in 2020-2021.

    The researchers counted deaths both directly and indirectly related to excessive alcohol use. Direct deaths from alcohol include those from alcoholic liver disease, alcohol poisoning, suicide by excessive alcohol use, crashes and falls and fetal alcohol syndrome. Deaths partially attributable to excessive alcohol use include those from chronic hepatitis and certain cancers, heart disease and stroke.

    The CDC researchers said policies that permitted alcohol deliveries and carryout drinks during the pandemic made alcohol more accessible. In addition, some people may have delayed seeking medical help during the pandemic because of their fear of catching COVID, the researchers noted.

    “Stress, loneliness, and social isolation; and mental health conditions might also have contributed to the increase in deaths from excessive alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said.


    March 2024