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Alcohol-related deaths, especially those of middle-aged women, have increased during the pandemic, according to data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control.
The death rate has been rising steadily for years, but between 2019 and 2020, the CDC found that it increased by 26%. For women aged 35 to 44, these deaths increased by even more than 42%.
Previously, the dramatic rise had never grown at a rate higher than 7% year over year, according to NBC News.
Friday’s report also revealed that the overall death rate in the United States from 2019 to 2020 fell from 10.4 per 100,000 people to 13.1 per 100,000.
RELATED: Alcohol-related deaths soared more than 25% during pandemic, study finds
The study correlates with another report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March, during which researchers reviewed Centers for Disease Control death certificates for people ages 16 and older and found some where alcohol was an underlying or contributing cause.
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This report found that between 2019 and 2020, the number of alcohol-related deaths in the United States jumped 25.5% – far more than the average annual increase of 2.2% that occurred between 1999 and 2017. In 2019, 78,927 people died in alcohol-related deaths – by 2020 that number had risen to 99,017.
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“We’re not surprised. It’s unfortunate, but we kind of expected to see something like this,” said Dr. Aaron White, lead study author and neuroscientist at the National Institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism, to CNN at the time. .
White said the pandemic has naturally taken its toll on Americans.
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“It’s not uncommon for people to drink more when they’re more under duress, and obviously the pandemic has brought a lot of additional stress into people’s lives,” he said. “On top of that, it’s reduced a lot of the normal outlets people have to deal with stress, [like] social support and access to gyms.”