A recent study has found that more and more women are dying from problems related to drinking too much alcohol.
Even though men are still more likely to die from such problems, the number of women dying is increasing at a faster pace.
The Numbers: A Troubling Trend
Between 2018 and 2020, the number of deaths related to alcohol increased by 12.5% in men. However, it increased nearly 15% in women.
The researchers looked at data on almost 606,000 deaths related to alcohol from 1999 to 2020 to find this out.
Dr. Ibraheem Karaye, who led the study, says this trend is very worrying. He thinks that the increasing number of overweight women may be linked to the rise in alcohol-related deaths.
That’s because being overweight can lead to a higher concentration of alcohol in the body, which can cause more damage.
Alcohol and Opioids: A Deadly Combination
Karaye also pointed out that people who die from alcohol-related causes often also use opioids, a type of strong painkiller.
He said that studies have shown that people often use alcohol and opioids together, which can be very dangerous.
The researchers found that the number of women who drink and die from alcohol-related causes is increasing among white, Hispanic, and Black women.
They also found that more women are dying from such causes in the South and West of the US than in the Northeast and Midwest.
Alcohol: A Hidden Danger
Linda Richter, who works at the Partnership to End Addiction but was not involved in the study, says that this study shows how dangerous alcohol can be.
She says that people often focus on drugs like fentanyl but forget about the dangers of drinking too much alcohol. In fact, alcohol causes more deaths every year than all drugs combined.
Richter warns that the harms are not only limited to death. She says that more women have started drinking in risky ways, and the difference between men and women in terms of risky drinking and deaths from alcohol is getting smaller.
This highlights the need for more resources to make people aware of the dangers and to provide help early on.
Why More Women Are Drinking
Some of the reasons why more women may be drinking include stress, anxiety, and depression. Along with a greater acceptance of drinking a lot, including binge drinking, these risk factors have become more common in women.
Richter also explains that women who drink a lot can experience problems related to alcohol faster and more intensely than men due to biological differences.
She says that while this is known to researchers and health professionals, the general public may not be aware of it.
Richter ends by emphasizing the need for efforts to prevent alcohol-related problems that start early and continue throughout a person’s life.
This is especially important for young people, where the difference between men and women in terms of risky drinking is getting smaller.
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The study was published in JAMA Network Open.
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