Alcohol-related deaths double, women at increased risk

(CNN) - Alcohol-related deaths are increasing at an alarming rate in the U.S., according to a new study.

The number of Americans who died from alcohol-related problems annually more than doubled between 1999 and 2017.

Researchers from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism used death certificates to determine the number of alcohol-related deaths, which they found increased 50.9% from 16.9 to 25.5 per 100,000.

That’s a loss of nearly 1 million Americans in that time period.

In 2017 alone, 2.6% of about 2.8 million deaths in the U.S. were alcohol-related.

Nearly half resulted from liver disease or overdoses on alcohol alone or mixed with other drugs.

Rates of deaths increased for men overall and people between the ages of 55 and 64. Rates of deaths were higher among non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska natives.

The most dramatic annual increase in deaths was among non-Hispanic white women.

Researchers think the numbers of deaths are an undercount.

While death certificates are the best way to track deaths in the U.S., researchers said the certificates often fail to capture the role alcohol plays in a death.

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