CALIFORNIA, Md. - About one-third of all emergency room visits are alcohol-related, according public health experts. So the question is: what exactly are people drinking?
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health may have the answer.
Hopkins researchers surveyed ER patients who had been drinking and found Budweiser was the number one brand consumed. Steel Reserve Malt Liquor, Bud Ice, Bud Light and Barton's discount-priced vodka followed close behind.
Though Budweiser has 9.1 percent of the national beer market, it makes up 15 percent of the ER "market." Steel Reserve has only 0.8 percent of the market, but in the ER it accounted for 14.7 percent.
In all, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice (another malt liquor), King Cobra make up nearly half of the beer consumed by ER patients.
"Some products are marketed to certain groups of people in our society," Traci Toomey, the director of the University of Minnesota's alcohol epidemiology program told NBC News. "So we might want to put some controls on certain products some controls on certain products if we find they are tied to greater risk. But how they are marketed and priced is critical information and that has been very hard to study."
A professor of public health at Johns Hopkins told NBC News that no conclusions could be made about beer or malt liquor advertising, pricing, or consumption based on the study, because it was too small.
More than 105 patient interviews took place in one Baltimore hospital in a mostly black neighborhood. Overall, malt liquor and lower alcohol beer dominated consumption but vodka, gin, brandy and cognac were overrepresented, too.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)