A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says each year, 33 million adults have reported binge drinking -- defined for this report as four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men over a short period of time, usually a couple of hours.
"Binge drinking, increases many health risks, including fatal car crashes, contracting a sexually transmitted disease, dating violence, and drug overdoses," Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, says in a statement. "Excessive alcohol use remains the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States and leads to a wide range of health and social problems."
Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes more than 79,000 U.S. deaths in the United States annually, due to vehicle crashes, violence and the risk of HIV transmission and sexually transmitted diseases.
Over time, excessive drinking can lead to liver disease, some cancers, heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases. It can also result in unplanned pregnancy. Binge drinking can cause harm to a developing fetus, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Binge drinking differs widely among the states ranging from 6.8 percent in Tennessee to 23.9 percent in Wisconsin.
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