Why your drink choice may send you to the ER
A new study finds that beers containing greater amounts of alcohol are landing drinkers in the emergency rooms at higher rates than those who consume conventional beers.
Researchers from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found the major brands of malt liquor were linked to the highest rates of alcohol-related injuries.
“Recent studies reveal that nearly a third of injury visits to Level I trauma centers were alcohol-related and frequently a result of heavy drinking,” said lead study author David Jernigan in a statement. “Understanding the relationship between alcohol brands and their connection to injury may help guide policy makers in considering taxation and physical availability of different types of alcohol given the harms associated with them.”
Emergency physicians say two things may be driving up the injury rates.
“These beers have higher alcohol content and in general are less expensive,” explains Dr. Stephen Crouch, medical director and chair of the emergency department at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill. “Those who choose to consume beers with higher levels of alcohol need to be aware of the risks and avoid drinking to excess.”
Regardless of what alcohol you consume, there are several things you can do when drinking to make sure you avoid a trip to the hospital. Dr. Crouch shares these tips:
- Drink in moderation
- Eat food or snacks while drinking
- Stay hydrated and out of the heat
- Let someone else drive if you have had a drink
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also warn about the dangers of binge drinking. This type of alcohol intake accounted for an average of 23,000 deaths and 633,000 years of potential life lost among women and girls alone in the U.S. each year.
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