- When all alcohol-related diseases and injuries are taken into
consideration, alcohol is the fifth leading cause of death in New
Jersey, according to a special analysis of the state's death data
conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
and released today.
suffer higher death rates from alcohol than do women, mainly due
to men's higher rate of alcohol-related injuries through vehicle
accidents, suicides, homicides and other causes, according to the
department's Center for Health Statistics report.
Mortality: New Jersey, 1996-1998" is available on the department's
web site at www.state.nj.us/health/chs/publs.htm.
to the report, three-fifths of New Jersey adults drink alcohol at
least once a month. Three percent are heavy drinkers and 15 percent
are binge drinkers, consuming five or more drinks on one occasion.
Males consume more than females at all levels of alcohol consumption,
which follows the national pattern as measured by the Behavioral
Risk Factor Surveillance System.
estimated 2,700 residents -- nearly two-thirds of them men -- died
annually because of alcohol. About 1,850 died from diseases caused
by the effects of prolonged use of alcohol, such as alcohol-related
cirrhosis of the liver, and the remainder died as a result of injuries
caused by their use or another's use of alcohol.
is not typically considered in analyses of leading causes of death.
However, the department used a statistical method developed by the
federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to estimate alcohol's
true impact on death rates. Alcohol ranked fifth after heart disease,
cancer, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary (lung) diseases.
report also estimated that if no one drank alcohol, deaths due to
cirrhosis would decrease by more than 65 percent, homicides would
drop more than 40 percent, and suicide and unintentional injury
deaths would each decrease by more than 25 percent.
Jersey has a wide range of programs in place to reduce alcohol's
impact on the health of the state's residents," said Health
and Senior Services acting Commissioner George T. DiFerdinando,
Jr. M.D. "The department is working to prevent initiation of
alcohol use, to support treatment services for those who want to
stop drinking, and to protect the public from intoxicated drivers."
department's Division of Addiction Services makes available $87
million in grant funding each year to support treatment and prevention
services around the state. In addition, acting Governor Donald DiFrancesco
signed legislation earlier this year that provides increased funding
for treatment services for those convicted of driving while intoxicated
and sentenced to treatment, but who cannot pay for their own treatment.
The law provides for an additional $1.5 million the first year,
increasing each year to $7.5 million a year after five years, then
remaining at $7.5 million in each subsequent year.
report is one in a series on selected topics in health statistics.
Other reports discussed multiple births, low birth weight, and infant
mortality; changes in the method of age standardization of death
rates; trends in places of death; smoking mortality; obesity; and
health disparities by race and ethnicity.
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