Alcohol Consumption & Mortality
Dr. Thomas A. Pearson, head of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee "... if current drinkers stopped drinking, heart disease related deaths ... would increase by 80,000 each year in the U.S."
Physicians and scientists at the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) "middle-aged men and postmenopausal women may benefit the most from moderate alcohol consumption: an approximately 30-percent reduction in risk of heart disease."
Both case comparison and cohort epidemiologic research, as well as cross-cultural analysis, have now firmly established that alcohol reduces coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence and mortality (Criqui and Ringel 1994; Gaziano et al. 1993; Klatsky et al. 1992; Rimm et al. 1991; Stampfer et al. 1988; Suh et al. 1992). Prospective epidemiological studies also find that overall mortality is reduced by moderate alcohol consumption (Boffetta and Garfinkel 1990; Doll et al. 1994; Fuchs et al. 1995; Grnb�k 1994; Klatsky 1992). These benefits occur primarily for middle-aged men and women, for whom heart disease is the primary cause of death.However, they also apply to all adults at risk for heart disease, a substantial majority of both female and male adults (Fuchs et al.1995).
Stanton Peele, Ph.D., an alcoholism and
addiction expert from Morristown, N. J.:
"More recently, Boffetta and Garfinkel found that white American men who reported in 1959 that they consumed an average of fewer than three drinks per day were less likely to die during the next 12 years than men who reported abstinence."
21,000 CANCER DEATHS ARE "ALCOHOL-RELATED"
"Cancer kills an estimated 526,000 Americans yearly, second only to heart disease. Cancers of the lung, large bowel, and breast are the most common in the United States. Considerable evidence suggests a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and increased risk for cancer, with an estimated 2 to 4 percent of all cancer cases thought to be caused either directly or indirectly by alcohol". In other words, between 10,520 and 21,040 cancer deaths each year *MIGHT* be *RELATED* to alcohol. None of the literature made the casual observation that many heavy drinkers are also heavy smokers, which is alleged to be "cancer-related". But this ignores the casual observation that the RATE of cancer deaths per 100,000 population in the US increased from 67 in 1990, to 149 in 1962, to 203 in 1996 http://www.cdc.gov/nchswww/data/nvsr47_9.pdf a three fold increase in the rate of cancer deaths. The Gallup Poll shows that the number of smokers decreased by 15%, from 41% to 26% between 1962 and 1996, at the same time that the *rate* of cancer deaths increased 36%.
7,514 CIRRHOSIS DEATHS ARE "ALCOHOL-RELATED"
Thirty percent of the 25,047 cirrhosis deaths in the US each year are determined by the medical profession to be "alcohol-related", a term which belies their reluctance to claim that alcohol causes cirrhosis. Their quandry is that, if alcohol *caused* cirrhosis, then there wouldn't be 17,533 cirrhosis deaths which are *not* alcohol-related. If alcohol were such a significant factor, then the 60% of the population which consumes an average of 2 ounces of alcohol per day, all year long, would be more than 60% of those cirrhosis deaths. The simple statistical fact is that, if 60% of the population consumes this much alcohol, but only 30% of cirrhosis deaths are "alcohol-related", then it is the non-drinkers who are at the greatest risk, if not 100% of the risk, of dying of cirrhosis. To assume from this data that even 7,514 alcoholics die of their disease each year is a real stretch of the imagination.
1,643 TRAFFIC FATALITIES ARE "ALCOHOL-RELATED"
MADD claims that half of the 41,075 auto traffic fatalities each year, or 20,538 fatalities, are "alcohol related". But reports directly from police nationwide show that 4% of all traffic accidents are "alcohol-related". This means that a maximum of 1,643 traffic deaths are "alcohol-related", not caused by, drinking alcohol, which means that more than 39,432 of all traffic accidents are CAUSED by those with no alcohol in their blood.
The most conservative estimate of the number of lives which could be saved from heart disease each year by increasing alcohol consumption is 30,244:
Download a summary of alcohol consumption in pdf format from http://members.xoom.com/fmanifesto/alcohol.pdf
Moderate drinkers, defined by some studies as males who consume 3-4 drinks per day and females who consume 1-2 drinks per day, have a cardiac mortality rate one half of those who don't drink at all. The average per capita consumption of a moderate drinker by this definition is 5.7 gallons of alcohol per year. This is 3 times the average per capita consumption of alcohol in the US. 1,053,000 Americans die from major cardiovascular disease each year. This is a mortality rate of 390 fatalities per 100,000 population (National Center for Health Statistics, US Department of Health & Human Services). If 70% of the population are moderate drinkers and 30% of them consume no alcohol at all, then their relative mortality rates are (30,000x1.5X + 70,000xX), X=339, 1.5X=509:
The studies suggest that increasing the alcohol consumption of non drinkers by 5.7 gallons each per year would reduce their mortality rate by 170 per 100,000 population. The drinking age population is 80% of the 270 million citizens, or 216 million, so there are 64.8 million non drinkers whose current mortality rate is 509 per 100,000 population. Increasing their alcohol consumption from zero to 5.7 gallons each per year would increase US alcohol consumption by 393.4 million gallons per year--an 81% increase, from 486 to 879.4 million gallons per year.
If this reduced their cardiac mortality rate from 509 to 339 per 100,000 population, as the studies suggest, and if no other factors are involved, then mortalities in the US would decrease by 110,160 per year. There are 2,384,100 deaths in the US each year, so this is a 4.6% decrease in the US mortality rate, or an increase in male life expectancy from 73 to 76.4 years.
Each 3,571 gallon increase in alcohol consumption saves one life.
This predicted reduction in mortality is consistent with the international data. For example, France consumes 69% more alcohol per capita and has a 2.5% higher life expectancy (74.8 years vs. 73 years in the US). An 81% increase in per capita alcohol consumption in the US would be 7% higher than France and according to the studies would increase our life expectancy to 21% higher than France. Australia consumes 10.3% more alcohol per capita and has a 5.8% higher life expectancy (77.2 years).
In spite of all these studies and existing data, based solely on demands from MADD and other liberal, feminist, & totalitarian advocates, and excluding any data or studies which support its contrary position, this nation implemented a public safety policy which hasn't been proven to save lives, & which uses the force of law to reduce the alcohol consumption of Americans. Few Americans can avoid driving on our roads and highways. Imprisoning them, NOT for a bad traffic record, NOT for actually having an accident, but for having a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08. It turned us into a totalitarian state at the same time it increased mortality rates.
The DUI campaign DID reduce alcohol consumption--from 2.2 to 1.8 gallons per capita. Consumption today is 108 million fewer gallons than it would have been without the campaigns. The data shows that mortality increases by one for each 3,571 gallon reduction in total alcohol consumption. A reduction of 108 million gallons of alcohol increases cardiac deaths by 30,244 per year.