Alcohol abuse responsible for thousands of deaths each year

During the month of April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) sponsors Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, and reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism that too often prevents individuals and families from seeking help.

alcohol abuse life insurance

Alcohol abuse, which can lead to alcoholism, is a pattern of drinking resulting in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships and ability to work. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholism is the third leading preventable cause of death in the nation. An estimated 88,000 deaths are attributed to excessive alcohol consumption each year. Over time, those who use alcohol in excess are at increased risk of developing chronic diseases and conditions such as dementia, cardiomyopathy, and liver disease. The risk of developing cancer of the liver, mouth, throat, larynx and esophagus is also increased.

Alcohol and life insurance

An applicant’s alcohol use can affect their life insurance options. If indicated in standard self-reported data collection that they are a heavy drinker or have a history of alcohol abuse, life insurance underwriters can request additional information to help determine the applicant’s policy placement, such as:

Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) – An applicant’s driving history can be reviewed to discover if there are citations for drunk-driving arrests or reckless driving.

Attending Physician’s Statement (APS) – Health reports can unveil a number of alcohol abuse indicators. For example, a history of pancreatitis in a younger individual is highly indicative of heavy drinking.

Carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) – CDT is a laboratory blood test that can be utilized to identify indicators of chronic alcohol abuse. CDT can be ordered by an insurance company in cases where there are indications of possible alcohol abuse.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) – BAC levels represent the concentration of alcohol in the blood expressed as a percentage. The BAC is an indicator of more recent alcohol use.

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