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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The number of annual alcohol-related deaths in the United States more than doubled between 1999 and 2017, according to a new study.

During that time, the rate of such deaths rose from 16.9 to 25.5 per 100,000, a 50.9%#37; increase, CNN reported.

The actual number of alcohol-related deaths increased from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017, with nearly 1 million deaths in that time period. In 2017, 2.6% of 2.8 million deaths in the U.S. were alcohol related.

Liver disease or overdoses from alcohol or alcohol mixed with other drugs account for about half of such deaths, CNN reported.

Men had a higher alcohol-related death rate than women, but the largest annual increase was among white women. The death rate increased more for people between ages 55-64, and was higher among American Indians and Alaska natives.

The actual number of alcohol-related deaths is likely higher than the figures in the study, according to the researchers, CNN reported.

The study was published Wednesday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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