More than 100,000 deaths per year are attributed to alcohol, in the United States. Alcohol-related auto accidents account for approximately 24,000 of these deaths (most often the victims are under 30 years of age), while alcohol-related homicide account for 11,000 and suicide 8,000 deaths.Certain types of cancer, which are partly associated with the consumption of alcohol, contribute to another 17,000 deaths.Alcohol-related strokes are responsible for 9,000 deaths.25,000 lost lives are due to 12 alcohol-related diseases including cirrhosis of the liver.All these deaths combined are the equivalent of 200 jumbo jetliners crashing and taking the lives of everyone onboard, in just one year.
Such numbers are staggering until you realize that it is Coronary Heart Disease that is the number one killer in the United States, not alcohol.There are roughly 900,000 persons admitted to U.S. hospitals for strokes annually and 830,00 admitted for Congestive Heart Failure.Though they are not always fatal, these diseases will leave its victims at varying levels of incapacitation. Looking at specific age groups, cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of those age 65+ and #2 killer of those age 25 – 64
This is a political issue for the U.S. with so many lives lost to alcohol-related disease and accidents.Leaders will not be perceived favorably by designating research money to study the health benefits of a drug responsible for damaging so many lives.I believe it is this political climate which limits research in this area, and I believe it is this climate that limits the amount of coverage the media provides about its possible benefits.As I began to research this subject I was intrigued by the vast number of articles and studies on the health benefits of wine.The industry has submitted a number of press releases attempting to counter the negative social stigma alcohol had developed circa 1992 – 98.These…