Alcohol-related mortality in the U.S. Air Force, 1990

Am J Prev Med. 1993 Jul-Aug;9(4):220-3.


Alcohol-related morbidity and mortality represent a major public health problem in the United States, particularly among young men. Standardized comparisons of alcohol use have demonstrated that members of the military consume more alcohol than matched civilians. To quantify the impact of alcohol use by active duty members of the Air Force for calendar year 1990, we reviewed 283 death certificates and analyzed the cause of death using the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) computer program. Injuries accounted for 73% of all deaths among active duty Air Force personnel, with motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) accounting for 31% of total mortality. Sixty-six deaths (23%) were attributable to alcohol-related causes and accounted for 2,300 years of potential life lost before 65 years of age. Analysis of blood alcohol levels taken from a subset of active duty deaths resulting from MVAs and suicides yielded alcohol-attributable fractions similar to those obtained by the ARDI method. Periodic assessment and dissemination of alcohol-related mortality statistics in the military using the ARDI methodology represent an important public health education tool.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / mortality*
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology