Posts Tagged ‘binge drinking’


Rise in Women Drinking Alcohol Notable in Recent Studies

July 8, 2009

A recent study coming out of Canada showed that 1 in 25 deaths worldwide are attributed to alcohol. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) researchers concluded that a rise since 2000 was due to more women in the world drinking alcohol. Most of the deaths caused by alcohol were through injuries, cancer, cardiovascular disease and liver cirrhosis.

Here are some of the key findings of the study:

  • Even though most adults worldwide abstain from drinking alcohol, consumption is common in many parts of the world
  • For low-income countries, there is a strong relation between economic wealth and alcohol consumption: the higher the gross domestic product, the higher the overall volume of consumption and the lower the proportions of abstainers
  • Alcohol contributes substantially to the global burden of disease (4% of total mortality and between 4% and 5% of disability-adjusted life-years), and thus is one of the largest avoidable risk factors
  • Poor populations and low-income countries have an even greater disease burden per unit of alcohol consumption than do high-income populations and countries
  • The consequences attributable to alcohol account for large costs to societies; they are not limited to health-care costs, but also include costs related to social harm

This last point was illustrated well in a recent CASA report. [CASA Spending Report Shows Maine Has Highest Burden of Substance Abuse and Addiction on a State Budget]

Read more about the CAMH study: New study shows 1 in 25 deaths worldwide attributable to alcohol

In other research news, women were also found to be binge drinking more in the United States, especially in college. The Washington University School of Medicine studied data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and found an overall reduction in binge drinking between 1979 and 2006. However, in that time period, binge drinking for women ages 21 – 23 rose by 20% among non-students and a whopping 40% among college students. Most of the actual reductions in binge drinking came among males younger than 20. Researchers credited the 21 and over national drinking law as the cause for reduced binge drinking by teens. Of course, binge drinking rates for women ages 15 – 20 were unchanged.

Read more about the Washington University School of Medicine study: Higher drinking age linked to less binge drinking…except in college students

It is clear from both of these studies that more women are drinking at unhealthy rates and with unhealthy consequences. What seems to be missing from the studies is the why and what to do about it.

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Study shows women who binge drink more likely to have unsafe sex, get STD

September 9, 2008

A recent study coming out of John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore found women who binge drink are more likely to have unsafe sex and contract sexually transmitted diseases. Binge drinking is defined as having more than 5 alcoholic drinks at one sitting.

Researchers found that women who binge drink are at increased risk of practicing unsafe sex, such as having multiple partners and engaging in anal sex, leading to high rates of gonorrhea.

Geetanjali Chander, assistant professor of medicine in the general internal medicine division at the school, didn’t find the results too surprising. According to Chander, “Initially, some individuals may drink with the expectation of decreasing inhibitions, or some may drink because they are anxious or depressed, and they expect alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. Regardless of why they choose to drink, many people do not perceive the potential risk or harm that may result from binge drinking.”

Heidi Hutton, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the medical school and an author of the study, noted that STD clinics should regularly screen its patients for binge drinking. “While it is standard practice in most STD clinics to discuss behavioral factors for STD risk, binge drinkers may be harder to identify than alcohol-dependent individuals because the latter have more obvious impairment of function.”

The findings came from interviews from mostly African-American patients at an urban clinic for sexually transmitted infections. The study will be published in the November issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Read More
From CBC News – Women who binge drink more likely to engage in unsafe sex: study
From Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research –  The Relationship Between Recent Alcohol Use and Sexual Behaviors: Gender Differences Among Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic Patients

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