CDC: 38 million in U.S. binge drink

Jan. 11, 2012 at 9:34 PM

ATLANTA, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- More than 38 million U.S. adults say they binge drink an average of eight drinks an average of four times a month, health officials say.

The Vital Signs report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more, but those with incomes of $25,000 or less consumed the largest number of drinks consumed per occasion -- an average of eight to nine drinks.

The report found binge drinking is more common among young adults ages 18-34, but those age 65 and older who report binge drinking do so more often, an average of five to six times a month.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men per occasion.

"Binge drinking causes a wide range of health, social and economic problems and this report confirms the problem is really widespread," Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement. "We need to work together to implement proven measures to reduce binge drinking at national, state and community levels."

Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes more than 80,000 U.S. deaths each year, making it the third-leading preventable cause of death, and responsible for more than $223.5 billion in economic costs in 2006. Over half of those deaths result from injuries that disproportionately involve young people.

CDC scientists analyzed data from 2010 of self-reports of binge drinking within the past 30 days for about 458,000 U.S. adults.

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