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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Beer Goggles

WASHINGTON -- When the price of beer goes up, teenage gonorrhea goes down, say federal health officials.

Data released Thursday by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that a 20-cent per six-pack tax increase in beer nationwide could reduce gonorrhea rates in young people by almost 9 percent nationwide.

Why? When teenagers drink, "they are more likely to have sex, and they are more likely to have sex without a condom, with multiple partners and with high-risk partners," said Harrell Chesson, author of the study, which examined the impact of state beer taxes on rates of sexually transmitted diseases in several dozen states between 1981 and 1995.

"Drinking influences judgment," he said.