In a study, female consumption of alcohol almost reached the level of alcohol consumption rate of men.
In a study published online on November 23rd in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the results showed that the women’s consumption rate of alcohol almost reached that of men. The study analysed data from 2002 to 2012 and found that reported alcohol consumption in the previous 30 days rose among women, from almost 45 percent to more than 48 percent, while it fell among men, from slightly more than 57 percent to just over 56 percent.
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Study leader Aaron White, senior scientific adviser to the director of the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), said that over the period of time of the study, differences in measures such as current drinking, number of drinking days per month, reaching criteria for an alcohol use disorder, and driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year, all narrowed for females and males. The investigators found that the average number of drinking days in the past month also increased among women, from 6.8 to 7.3 days, but fell among men, from 9.9 to 9.5 days.
“Males still consume more alcohol, but the differences between men and women are diminishing,” says Dr. White.
“This study confirms what other recent reports have suggested about changing patterns of alcohol use by men and women in the U.S.,” notes NIAAA Director George F. Koob, Ph.D. Dr. Koob.
The study also discovered that binge drinking among college students aged 18 to 25 did not change during the study period. However, among those aged 18 to 25 who weren't in college, there was a large increase in binge drinking among women but a significant decrease among men. There was only one area of drinking where the difference between women and men increased during the study period.
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The reasons for the narrowing gap in alcohol use between women and men aren't clear and don't seem to be associated with factors such as employment, pregnancy or marital status, the researchers said. They called for more studies to identify the reasons for the trend, and how that might affect prevention and treatment efforts.