Women’s Drinking Catching Up to Men’s
Men may still drink more than women overall, but a new report from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that women are catching up.
Between years 2002 and 2012, not only did the percentage of women who drank in the last month increase, but so did the average number of days women drank. The average percentage of women who drink rose during that period from 45 to 48 percent, compared to a slight decline in men, from 57 to 56 percent. Men also showed a slight decrease in the number of days they reported drinking, from 9.9 to 9.5 days in the past month. However, in women, the number of days with drinking increased from 6.8 to 7.3 days.
Researchers note that although there are still differences in the level of alcohol cunsumption between men and women, the gap is diminishing. This they say, is cause for concern, as women are at higher risk than men for negative health effects from alcohol, including heart disease, cancer and liver inflammation.
The report noted that binge drinking (having five or more drinks on one occasion) among women 18-25 and not in college, also increased.
The study was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.