In the last 2 decades, alcohol intake and alcohol-related harm in the US has substantially increased. Approximately 70% of adults aged ≥18 years consumed alcohol in 2017 alone and between 2006-2014, rates of alcohol-related emergency department visits rose 47.3% among persons aged ≥12 years. Few patients report being asked about their alcohol use by their physicians, however, which is particularly concerning for older patients who may be taking medications that negatively interact with alcohol.
To determine if alcohol-related mortality has also increased, researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism analyzed data from all US death certificates filed from 1999-2017 among persons aged ≥16 years. The results highlight the need for physician-patient discussions surrounding alcohol use. Find out more in the quick quiz below.