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Georgia ranks 5th lowest in high school binge drinking

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited a behavior risk survey of 16,000 U.S. students ages 14-18. Binge drinking was defined as having five or more drinks in the span of a few hours.

"Binge drinking increases many health risks, including fatal car crashes, contracting a sexually transmitted disease, dating violence and drug overdoses," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said.

The CDC, which also studied 2009 nationwide telephone surveys of adults, found:

* Binge drinking varies widely from state to state. Tennessee had the lowest rate, 6.8 percent, while Wisconsin had the highest, 23.9 percent. Georgia ranked fifth lowest at 10.5 percent.

* From 1993 to 2009, binge drinking decreased among high school boys but stayed the same among high school girls and adults in general.

* People with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more are more likely to binge drink (19.3 percent).

Excessive drinking, including binge drinking, kills more than 79,000 people in the United States annually