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Commentary
August 3, 2005

Binge Drinking and Violence

JAMA. 2005;294(5):616-618. doi:10.1001/jama.294.5.616

Excessive consumption of alcohol was responsible for approximately 75 000 deaths and 2.3 million years of potential life lost (about 30 years of life lost per death) in the United States in 2001.1,2Binge drinking, typically defined as the consumption of 5 or more alcoholic drinks on 1 occasion for a man or 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for a woman,3 accounted for more than half of these deaths and for approximately two thirds of the years of potential life lost.1 Binge drinking is also associated with a wide range of serious health and social problems, including sexually transmitted disease, unintended pregnancy, sudden infant death syndrome, acute myocardial infarction, and motor vehicle crashes.4,5 The World Health Organization estimates that use of alcohol, including binge drinking, is responsible for 4% of the global burden of disease, only slightly less than the burden imposed individually by tobacco use and high blood pressure.6

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