Beer No. 1 in medical emergencies

The First Aid aisle should be moved closer. (AP Photo for unrelated story)

The First Aid aisle should be moved closer. (AP Photo for unrelated story)

Maybe Budweiser’s famed Clydesdale horses should consider pulling an ambulance?

According to a study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Budweiser is the No. 1 beverage behind alcohol-related emergency room visits.

That shouldn’t be too surprising — Budweiser is the No. 2 selling beer in America, behind only Bud Light, which ranks 5th on the “this is gonna need stitches” list.

But the following stat is shocking: “Nearly a third of injury visits to Level I trauma centers were alcohol-related and frequently a result of heavy drinking.”

That’s a lot of medical care someone is having to pay for, and I bet it’s not the alcohol industry.

Don’t get me wrong. I like beer so much I make large vats of it for personal consumption. Thanks again Jimmy Carter! Thankfully, I don’t go to the hospital after sipping a few ordinary bitters.

Budweiser, being the highly successful company it is, produces three of the top five beers that contributed to emergency room visits, according to the study.

The Top 5 brands were Budweiser, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice and Bud Light.

  • Budweiser is the No. 2 selling beer in the U.S. behind Bud Light, with 101 million cases being sold in 2012. It is 4.8 percent alcohol by volume.
  • Steel Reserve, a malt liquor produced by SABMiller, is frequently purchased in 40-ounce cans. It is up to 8.1 percent. Just under 10 million cases were sold in 2012.
  • Colt 45 is a malt liquor produced by Pabst. It is 6.1 percent alcohol and was named after Baltimore Colts running back Jerry Hill, who sported the number 45.
  • Bud Ice, a malt liquor, is 5.5 percent alcohol.
  • Bud Light is the No. 1 beer sold in America, selling 269 million cases in 2012, more than twice that of regular Budweiser. It is 4.2 percent alcohol.

The study was conducted at the Johns Hopkins Hospital emergency room in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday and Saturday nights in 2010 and 2011. The majority of patients were men and African-American because of the “demographics of the area,” the study says.

The four most common malt liquors, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice and King Cobra, made up 46 percent of the brands consumed by patients, but the four brands only account for 2.4 percent of national sales.

Researchers said about 15 percent of those seeking treatment in the emergency room admitted to drinking.

More news I found today that you may find interesting:

38 comments Add your comment


August 20th, 2013
8:38 am

And if you were to look at crime statistics you would find alcohol (of all types) being a factor in a high percentage of violent crime, fights, assaults, domestic violence and other similar actions. The facts about alcohol are very clear. Given its long and sordid history and its connection to violence it’s a wonder nobody has banned it. Oh wait, we did try that back in the 20s and the results were FAR worse. Violent crime in the streets, a massive rise in organized crime, corruption of police, judges, and the entire criminal justice system, deaths from incorrectly made product, etc. We finally wised up and ended that failed experiment and while utopia certainly hasn’t set in, things are far, far better. At least the only problems with alcohol now are directly related to its use, and not an associated black market.

Contrast that with cannabis (marijuana). It has been used by humans for thousands of years without incident. It was the major component of hundreds of medicines up until around the early 1920s. Its use has never been directly associated with violence and while it may show up in drug tests from emergency room visits, it should be noted that it is detectable in the urine/blood sometimes for weeks after consumption whereas alcohol is cleared by the liver in a matter of hours. Despite its medically beneficial role, its tremendous agricultural potential (the related hemp plant) and it lack of associated violence, this plant continues to be banned by the federal government (despite the lack of a Constitutional Amendment as was passed to ban alcohol).

Seems like we didn’t learn a thing from prohibition.

Don't Tread

August 20th, 2013
8:51 am

I wonder where stupidity would rank in medical emergencies…people injured by something they were using improperly because they don’t have the common sense that God gave a house plant.

Now there’s a lot of medical care someone has to pay for, and it’s certainly not the stupid people paying for it.

Adam Shields

August 20th, 2013
8:51 am

So this doesn’t really mean anything. If the study is showing a non-representative sample of participants (because only one hospital is participating) then it is showing a non-representative sample of the beers they drink. Beer brands and consumption tend to be non-representative. ie, African American males drink different types of alcohol than do Caucasian women. Add income and geography and you end up with meaningless correlations that have no meaning to a larger population.

Malt Liquor = Liquid Stupidity

August 20th, 2013
9:04 am

I am not surprised Malt Liquor ranks so high on the crime statistics and the medical emergencies associated with them, as I’ve seen anyone who drank that filth be able to refrain from doing something illegal and/or stupid to themselves or others.


August 20th, 2013
9:08 am

We should outlaw alcohol and leagalize cannabis.

Malt Liquor = Liquid Stupidity

August 20th, 2013
9:09 am

RE: ” ‘The majority of patients were men and African-American because of the “demographics of the area,’ the study says.” –


That’s the ONLY reason why.



August 20th, 2013
9:29 am

Hey….Ya’ll watch this….here, hold my beer……


August 20th, 2013
9:41 am

@ Don’t Tread & Malt Liquor, spot on posts. There’s no doubt that ‘beer muscles’ exacerbate that stupidity & natural ‘criminal’ inclination of many.


August 20th, 2013
10:27 am

SURPRISE! AJC allows comments on a story with racial overtones.

Will we get to comment on the story about the Sniderman verdict…of course not…not racial enough


August 20th, 2013
10:48 am

Alcohol keeps a large segment of the population in a semi-stupid state almost all of the time. You don’t have to be drinking or even hungover to have it effect you. Drinks from last weekend or the weekend before that have an effect on your mind.


August 20th, 2013
10:49 am

Make that “affect”. Geez…see, I had several drinks over the weekend.

Malt Liquor = Liquid Stupidity

August 20th, 2013
11:03 am

The Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull, along with its incredibly negative effect on the mind and the decision making process, is probably the entity most responsible for the clowns we keep sending to Washington …

George Mathis

August 20th, 2013
11:07 am

Please don’t make political and racist comments. Try to stay on topic. I know from experience this is very difficult.


August 20th, 2013
11:29 am

Cars kill ten of thousands. Lets ban them!

Malt Liquor = Liquid Stupidity

August 20th, 2013
12:00 pm

Why does the AJC leave up the negative comments made about Buffoon Bush but instantly delete the VERY SAME OBSERVATIONS made about BuffoonObama?

Drunken stupidity in voters is a huge reason why America has a “Medical Emergency” over the past 12 years due to the elections of those two empty suits.

wake up you idiots

August 20th, 2013
12:55 pm

Most people would rather drink than pay attention to what is really going on in the world. That explains how the elite continue to be able to sell a crappy bill of goods to a bunch of brain dead morons.

Keep buying the politicians and sending those jobs out of the country while sucking every penny you can get out of the slave class. They’re too drunk to figure out what is going on! Between this and religion, you’ve got them so screwed up that they don’t stand a chance.

dick with ears

August 20th, 2013
1:18 pm

it’s amazing, the drunker i get,the better the fat and ugly women look,and to borrow a line from mickey gilley”all the woman all look better at closing time”

Mo is telling the truth

August 20th, 2013
1:38 pm

@ mo 10:27 a.m.

You are correct! Funny how you cant comment on that story but you sure can comment on this liquor! The only thing I disagree with you about is that it is not racial enough………….it is the wrong race is that fact!


August 20th, 2013
1:48 pm

Why are all the alcohol rehab centers in the suburbs?


August 20th, 2013
2:02 pm

Now there is conclusive proof that people should not drink crappy beer.


August 20th, 2013
2:02 pm

Obama voters, I’m sure.


August 20th, 2013
2:03 pm

Well duh! Alcohol is an addictive drug!


August 20th, 2013
2:17 pm

thats why I smoke pot


August 20th, 2013
2:47 pm

While there are plenty of high gravity craft beers out there (I’m a fan of Imperial/Double IPAs and these hop bombs typically clock in at 8% or higher.), most folks are drinking them in mass quantities because they are not cheap. All of the beers listed on that list are commonly found in any convenience store, quite often in ice-filled coolers at the front of the store at a pretty cheap price (Typically under $2/can.). A bomber (22oz bottle, AKA a double deuce) of a high gravity craft beer is going to cost at the very least $5-7+ per bottle. One of the concerns some lawmakers had when the max ABV on beer was raised from 6% to 14% was that some folks were going to buy such beer to get drunker quicker. Unfortunately, it also allowed the makers of malt liquor to start selling versions of their beverages that clock in at 8%.


August 20th, 2013
3:13 pm

that’s one more reason to legalize pot ,Budweiser made the Clydesdales famous and colt 45 made the ghetto famous

Crazy Grocer

August 20th, 2013
5:18 pm

Hemp is the answer!

August 20th, 2013
6:09 pm

And New York is attacking soft drink companies. Interesting. Time for someone to have their head shot off. Only way to deal with corruption.

August 20th, 2013
6:11 pm

FYI, if you drink and drive and injure someone in my family. I will execute you. Party on.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


August 20th, 2013
9:19 pm

Who can afford beer & smokes any longer. I guess that was a good reason for me to give them up. Can’t believe I ever smoked! Smoking has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever done, Nothing, NOTHING good comes from those things. At least you get a high with pot.

[...] NewsAre these the five most dangerous beers in America?Patriot-NewsNew York Times (blog) -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -SILive.comall 19 news [...]

Stoney Griffin

August 21st, 2013
5:27 am

A bag of weed…a bag of weed…everything’s better with a bag of weed!

Jim Nazium

August 21st, 2013
5:51 am

I stopped drinking about 1 year ago and found out I have just as much fun. The best part is that I don’t have to worry about DUI, hospital visits, or hangovers the next day. I have dropped 15 pounds and my blood pressure is back in the normal range. Now tell me again why anyone swills booze?

LaQueesha King

August 21st, 2013
5:55 am

I beez liking dat Colt 45, dat Schlitz Malt Liquor, Wild Irish Rose, MD 20-20, and a pack of Newports. Obama say I can buy dat stuff wiff my EBT card. Den he turnt around and gives me a new Obamaphone dat I don’t gotta pay foe. I love me some Obama.


August 21st, 2013
6:14 am

Ban Budweiser.

Dago T

August 21st, 2013
7:43 am

I would not drink any of these top 5 beers under a court order.

Earl Williamson, RN

August 21st, 2013
8:04 am

I’ve been hit three times by idiots driving while stoned on Marijuana. As a trauma nurse I saw more than one stoner die from operating his car / ATV / motocycle / gun / etc while under the influence of pot. Please spare me the endless BS about the supposed “safety” of marijuana.


August 21st, 2013
8:26 am

George Mathis, Why would you bet that the alcohol industry is not paying for this medical care? There are high state and federal excise taxes on alcohol in addition to state and local sales taxes. Those taxes are either paid by the consumers of alcohol and the industry (I don’t know the breakdown for this industry). A lot of health care is paid by the government with tax revenue.