Alcohol accounts for 1 in 5 deaths in the United States among people between the ages of 20 to 49, according to new research.

The study looked at alcohol poisoning, vehicle crashes and the long-term consequences of heavy drinking like alcoholic liver disease to reach its conclusions.

Overall, 12.9 percent of all deaths per year among adults between the ages of 20 and 64 were due to excessive alcohol consumption, and excessive booze accounted for 20.3 percent of deaths among adults aged 20 to 49, according to the study.  

The study was led by Marrissa Esser, a health scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. It was published earlier this week in JAMA Network Open.  

Esser and her team specifically looked at national and state mortality data from 2015 to 2019 and looked for deaths fully or partially linked to excessive drinking.  

The people behind the study said a reduction in alcohol-related deaths could be brought about by various policies, including increasing alcohol taxes and regulating the concentration of alcohol-selling businesses in an area. 

While the number of alcohol-related deaths varies by state, the study shows that excessive drinking is a leading and preventable cause of death across the United States.  

New Mexico had the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths out of all 50 states, with 21.7 percent of all deaths being somehow connected to booze, the study found.  

Meanwhile, the state with the lowest rate of deaths caused by excessive drinking during those four years was Mississippi, with an estimated 9.3 percent of all deaths believed to be linked to heavy alcohol use.  

Alcohol consumption in the U.S. has most likely gone up in since 2020. A number of studies have been published suggesting that Americans’ drinking skyrocketed during the pandemic.  

One study conducted by the Rand Corporation found that drinking among U.S. adults increased by 14 percent in the first year of the pandemic compared to the year before.  

The CDC defines heavy drinking as 8 or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men.  

The agency also warns that excessive drinking can increase a person’s chance of developing cancer, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke.  

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