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Minnesota has one of highest alcohol poisoning death rates in the country


Minnesota has one of the highest levels of alcohol poisoning deaths in the country, as concerns rise about binge drinking in the state.

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control found that Minnesota had 16.4 alcohol poisoning deaths per million people between 2010 and 2012. Only seven other states had higher levels.

MPR says the new figures show that Minnesota's binge drinking problem is worse than previously thought, with the CDC finding that 76 percent of those who die from alcohol poisoning are aged between 35 and 64, and are typically white men.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning can include vomiting, slow breathing, seizures, hypothermia and unconsciousness, the Mayo Clinic says, and in severe cases can lead to death.

Minnesota's American Indian population may be most at risk of alcohol poisoning, with the CDC report finding that American Indians and Alaska Natives have the most alcohol poisoning deaths per million people than any other race.

According to the Washington Post, the CDC defines binge drinking as five drinks for a man or four for a woman in about two or three hours, and that the report found that while 18 to 34-year-olds had the largest number of binge drinkers, middle-aged people tend to drink more than both younger and older people, leading to higher deaths.

Binge drinking is one of the main health problems affecting Minnesotans. Just last month, United Healthcare ranked Minnesota as the sixth healthiest state in the country for 2014, KSTP reports, after finishing third in 2013.

This drop was in no small part down to alcohol-related illnesses, with 21 percent of Minnesotans admitting to binge drinking.

The Midwest has commonly been associated with high levels of binge drinking, with KIMT suggesting this is due to both the area's German or Scandinavian heritage, which allegedly instils the idea that risk with alcohol is low, as well as easier access to alcohol than in other parts of the country.

The region's high binge drinking levels helps explain why Fargo and Duluth were second and sixth respectively on Business Insider's 25 Most Hungover Cities in America, which was compiled based on state health habits coupled with data about liquor and bar businesses.

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