Friday, January 13, 2012

CDC releases 2012 Vital Signs Report

The first issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2012’s Vital Signs includes the latest findings on binge drinking from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) which included combined landline and cellular telephone respondents.

The report found that U. S. adults binge drink more frequently and consume more drinks when they do.

Some key points include:

• Thirty-eight million U.S. adults binge drink an average of four times a month.

• On average, the largest number of drinks consumed is eight.

• While more 18–34 year olds binge drink, binge drinkers aged 65 years and older binge drink more often than other age groups—an average of five to six times a month.

• Although more people with incomes above $75,000 binge drink, those with incomes less than $25,000 drink more when they binge. The largest number of drinks consumed averages between 8 and 9 in the lower income group.

• Adult binge drinking is most common in the Midwest, New England, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii. However binge drinkers in the southern Mountain states (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah), Midwest, and some states where binge drinking is less common - including Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina - consume more drinks when they binge.

• Binge drinking is a costly and deadly behavior. Drinking too much, including binge drinking, is responsible for 80,000 deaths each year and cost the U.S. $223.5 billion in 2006, or $1.90 a drink. These costs include health care expenses, crime, and lost productivity.

• Evidence-based strategies exhibited every day by coalitions, can help prevent binge drinking. Binge drinking, defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on an occasion, put themselves and others at risk for many health and social problems, including car crashes, other unintentional injuries, violence, liver disease, certain cancers, heart disease, sexually transmitted diseases, and both unintended and alcohol–exposed pregnancies.

“Binge drinking causes a wide range of health, social and economic problems and this report confirms the problem is really widespread,” CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. said in a news release. “We need to work together to implement proven measures to reduce binge drinking at national, state and community levels.”

“Binge drinking by adults has a huge public health impact, and influences the drinking behavior of underage youth by the example it sets,” said Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “We need to reduce binge drinking by adults to prevent the immediate and long–term effects it has on the health of adults and youth.”

Click here to read more from this report.

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