Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost From Excessive Alcohol Use - United States, 2011-2015

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Oct 2;69(39):1428-1433. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6939a6.


Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States (1) and costs associated with it, such as those from losses in workplace productivity, health care expenditures, and criminal justice, were $249 billion in 2010 (2). CDC used the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) application* to estimate national and state average annual alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost (YPLL) during 2011-2015, including deaths from one's own excessive drinking (e.g., liver disease) and from others' drinking (e.g., passengers killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes). This study found an average of 95,158 alcohol-attributable deaths (261 deaths per day) and 2.8 million YPLL (29 years of life lost per death, on average) in the United States each year. Of all alcohol-attributable deaths, 51,078 (53.7%) were caused by chronic conditions, and 52,921 (55.6%) involved adults aged 35-64 years. Age-adjusted alcohol-attributable deaths per 100,000 population ranged from 20.8 in New York to 53.1 in New Mexico. YPLL per 100,000 population ranged from 631.9 in New York to 1,683.5 in New Mexico. Implementation of effective strategies for preventing excessive drinking, including those recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force (e.g., increasing alcohol taxes and regulating the number and concentration of alcohol outlets), could reduce alcohol-attributable deaths and YPLL..

Publication types

  • Corrected and Republished Article

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / mortality*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Expectancy / trends*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult