By the Numbers: Deaths Caused by Alcohol; December 1996; Scientific American Magazine; by Doyle; 2 Page(s)
Excessive alcohol consumption leads to more than 100,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Accidents, mostly from drunken driving, made up a quarter of this number in 1992; alcohol- related homicide and suicide accounted for 11 and 8 percent, respectively. Cancers that are partly attributable to alcohol, such as those of the esophagus and larynx, contributed an additional 17 percent. About 9 percent resulted from alcohol-related stroke. Another major contributor is a group of 12 ailments wholly caused by alcohol (see map below), of which alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol dependence syndrome are the most important. These 12 ailments represented 18 percent of all alcohol-related deaths in 1992.
The most reliable data are for the 12 alcohol-induced conditions. Mortality from these conditions rises steeply into late middle age and then declines markedly, with those age 85 or older being at less than one sixth the risk of 55- to 64-year-olds. Men are at three times the risk of women; blacks are at two and half times the risk of whites.