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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Alcohol use among upstate New York adults

Alcohol use is common in our society; half of all American adults – 50.3 percent – consume some alcohol in a year. The percentage of U.S. adults who have had at least one binge drinking episode during the past year has increased since 2004. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use (which includes heavy and/or binge drinking) ranks third among the leading preventable causes of death in the U.S., accounting for 79,000 deaths each year. Alcohol misuse raises immediate and long-term health risks that include traumatic injuries; liver, neurological and cardiovascular diseases; many types of cancer; and psychiatric problems.

• Binge drinking is defined as a man having five or more drinks, or a woman having four or more drinks, on an occasion.

• Heavy drinking is defined as a man averaging more than two drinks per day, or a woman averaging more than one drink per day.

The figures on binge and heavy drinking in New York state that are reported here refer to alcohol use during the 30 days prior to the survey.
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