Budweiser, King of ER Visits


It goes without saying that alcohol is, at least in part, the cause of many emergency room visits. In fact, public health experts estimate that about one third of injury related ER visits, including those resulting from DUI accidents, involve some kind of alcohol consumption. So what is the drink of choice for those unfortunate visitors of the ER?

According to a pilot study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Budweiser is not only the king of beers, but also the king of ER visits.

Although Budweiser accounts for 9.1 percent of the national beer market, 15 percent of people who visited emergency rooms who had consumed alcohol indicated that they had drank Budweiser, making it the number one choice booze of those injured in alcohol-related injuries.

University researchers interviewed 105 ER patients and found that Steel Reserve Malt Liquor followed in at a close second, accounting for 14.7 of alcohol-related injuries at emergency visits. Unlike Budweiser, Steel Reserve only accounts for 0.8 percent of the alcohol market. Malt liquors, in general, accounted for 46 percent of the beer consumed by ER patients even though malt liquors only account for 2.4 percent of the beer market in the United States.

The study, limited as it was, proved that it was possible to obtain results on the topic. “Our pilot study demonstrated that collecting alcohol type and brand data in hospital emergency room is feasible, if labor intensive,” the researchers concluded. However, before researchers can know a more accurate representation of which alcohols cause ER visits, a much larger scale study must be conducted.

Until then, all we know is that a few patients at one hospital happened to drink Budweiser more than any other alcohol before an alcohol-related injury.  Will the numbers hold up in other hospitals throughout the country? And, of the alcohol-related injuries, how many were the result of DUIs?

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