Excessive alcohol consumption was reported as the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States from 2001 to 2005, resulting in an annual average of 79,000 deaths from all causes and 2.4 million years of potential life lost (about 30 years of life lost per death). In addition to deaths, an estimated 8 million people were treated in 2002 for alcohol-related emergency department visits. More than half of the alcohol-related deaths resulted from injury.

We review the epidemiology of alcohol use and injury, the mechanisms for alcohol influence on injury, and the specific risks related to alcohol use in relation to violence and unintentional injury. No attempt here will be made to discuss the prevention of alcohol-related injuries, as they are numerous and well ...

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