A study conducted by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) concluded that the gap between women and men’s drinking habits has become narrower in present times. The findings were published on Monday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
The report studied 10 years of data, from 2002 to 2012. During the last 30 days, researchers found that women’s levels of alcohol consumption went up significantly from 45% to more than 48%, while, on the contrary, men’s decreased from around 57% to a bit over 56%.
Aaron White, senior scientific advisor of NIAAA, said researchers found that over that period of time, a lot of alcohol-related statistics narrowed between both sexes, such as current drinking habits, count of drinking days per month, alcohol abuse and driving while drunk. He added that males still topped in alcohol consumption, but the gap was becoming smaller.
Another discovery on the last 30 days revealed that women’s average of drinking days per month also increased while men’s once again diminished. What used to be 6.8 days became 7.3 days for women, and men shifted from 9.9 days to 9.5 days.
The binge drinking factor — five or more alcoholic drinks for men and four or more for women — maintained the same constant of narrowing the gap between sexes in the case of people aged 18 to 25 who weren’t attending college. The percentage didn’t change for college students of the same age group, though.
According to White, only the factor of mixing alcohol with cannabis remained the same for women but increased for men.
“The prevalence of combining alcohol with marijuana during the last drinking occasion among 18- to 25-year-old male drinkers increased from 15 percent to 19 percent, while the prevalence of combining alcohol with marijuana during the last drinking occasion among 18-to 25-year-old female drinkers remained steady at about 10 percent,” he explained.
George Koob, NIAAA’s director, reported women are known to have higher health risks provoked by alcohol consumption, such as cardiac complications, neurotoxicity, cancer, and liver inflammation; however, researchers haven’t been able to figure out the cause of the sudden rising of their alcoholic drink count. They have already crossed out factors like marital status, employment or pregnancy.
According to scientists studying the issue, further research is needed to get to a more solid conclusion.
Source: CBS News