Drinking alcohol in moderation to celebrate and socialize with your peers is fine but having too much drink too often is no longer a good thing and a new study shows that excessive drinking can have a serious impact on your health and could lead to your premature death.

In a new study published Thursday in the Preventing Chronic Disease, a medical journal established by CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Mandy Stahre, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer from the Washington State Department of Health, and colleagues used data from the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) application for the period covering 2006 to 2010 to estimate alcohol-attributable deaths (AAD) and years of potential life lost in the U.S and found that excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for one in 10 deaths among individuals between 20 and 64 years old in the U.S.

Between 2006 and 2010, there were about 88,000 deaths that were caused by excessive alcohol use and those who died shortened their lifespan by about 30 years. The deaths were caused by health conditions associated with drinking too much alcohol overtime including liver disease, breast cancer and heart disease as well as alcohol-related incidents such as vehicle crashes, violence and alcohol poisoning.

Of those who died, almost 70 percent were working-age adults and 70 percent of whom were males. Individuals below 21 years old, on the other hand, make up about 5 percent of those who died due to excessive drinking. The researchers also found that the rate of excessive drinking-related deaths was highest in New Mexico with 51 deaths in 100,000 heads and the lowest in New Jersey with a little over 19 deaths per 100,000.

"AAD rates vary across states, but excessive drinking remains a leading cause of premature mortality nationwide," Stahre and colleagues wrote. "Strategies recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force can help reduce excessive drinking and harms related to it."

Excessive drinking, which includes binge drinking, or having four or more drinks for women and five or more for men in one occasion, heavy weekly drinking, and alcohol use by pregnant women and minors below 21 years old, also cost the U.S. $224 billion in 2006 and this is due to lost productivity and deaths of excessive drinkers.

"Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death that kills many Americans in the prime of their lives," said NCCDPHP director Ursula Bauer. "We need to redouble our efforts to implement scientifically proven public health approaches to reduce this tragic loss of life and the huge economic costs that result."

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