Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Higher Minimum Legal Drinking Ages Linked To Lower Rates Of Suicides And Homicides Later In Life

Drinking age by country

Drinking Age By Country

From the 17 November 2011 Medical News Today article

Prior to the 1984 passage of a uniform drinking-age limit of 21 years in the U.S., many states permitted the legal purchase of alcohol at age 18. These lower drinking ages have been associated with several adverse outcomes such as higher rates of suicide and homicide among youth. A new study of individuals who were legally permitted to drink before the age of 21 has found they remain at elevated risk for suicide and homicide as adults, particularly women born after 1960.

Results will be published in the February 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

“After prohibition, most states had a drinking age of 21,” explained Richard A. Grucza, an epidemiologist at Washington University School of Medicine, and corresponding author for the study. “In the late 1960s and early 1970s, as voting rights were extended to people as young as 18, and people of that age were also being drafted to serve in Viet Nam, a lot of states lowered their drinking ages. But by the late 1970s, we saw spikes in DUI-related deaths among young people and states began to revert to a drinking age of 21. The 1984 federal act was really just a completion of change that was already underway.” …..

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November 17, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , ,

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