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Alcohol consumption by women has adjusted to that of men
So far, it has mostly been men who have been associated with high alcohol consumption. However, a new study shows that women now drink as much as men of the same age. Health experts are concerned about developments.
High alcohol consumption is harmful to health
High alcohol consumption is one of the main health risks. According to experts, drinking too much permanently can damage all organs of the body. Alcoholism increases the risk of numerous diseases such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, weak heart, fatty liver and nerve damage. According to scientists, alcohol can also cause seven cancers, including colorectal cancer. Nevertheless, a social evening with friends or a visit to a pub without alcoholic drinks is almost inconceivable for many people. This also applies to women; According to a new study, they now drink as much as men.
Women usually tolerate less
Women are always considered to be more reserved when it comes to alcoholic beverages. They usually tolerate less than men. In addition, alcohol sometimes has an even more negative effect on their health. Researchers found that alcohol is particularly harmful to women's hearts and that they are more susceptible to alcohol-related liver damage. It is therefore all the more worrying what Australian scientists are now reporting: women are now drinking alcohol as often as men compared to other countries.
Alcohol consumption between the sexes converged
Especially after the year of birth in 1966, alcohol consumption between the sexes was similar. The scientists of the "University of New South Wales" report after analyzing almost 70 studies in the journal "BMJ Open". Tim Slade's team selected 68 papers with a total of over 4.4 million participants for the study, which were published between 1980 and 2014. According to the information, over 75 percent of the studies came from Europe and North America, some of which spanned periods spanning several decades.
Men used to drink twice as much
It was found that the generation born between 1891 and 1910 was more than twice as likely to drink alcohol at all as among men as against women. However, the use of such drinks was almost identical among those born between 1991 and 2000. Especially since the year of birth in 1966, the genders came closer. According to the researchers' calculations, the gender gap in alcohol use decreased by 4.2 percent every five years throughout the study period.
It was also found that problematic alcohol consumption was three times more common among men in the early 20th century than among women, but only 1.3 times at the end of the century. With alcohol-related health problems, the gap between men and women narrowed from 3.6 to 1.3.
No investigation of the absolute amount consumed
However, it should be noted that the study only examined the alcohol use of women in relation to men, but not the absolute amount consumed. So it is not clear whether the alignment is due to increasing consumption among women, falling consumption among men, or both. However, according to the authors, there are indications that women drink more today than in the past.
Although it is considered safe if women drink a maximum of 0.25 liters of beer or 0.1 liters of wine per day (men a maximum of 0.5 liters of beer or 0.2 liters of wine), whether moderate alcohol consumption is really healthy remains a matter of debate. In addition, the limit values are often not complied with anyway. In Germany, people drink an above-average amount of alcohol.
Prevention programs for men and women
"Historically, alcohol use and problematic alcohol use were more of a phenomenon for men," the Australian scientists write in a statement from the university. However, new findings were gained through the study. “We have to ensure that awareness-raising campaigns reach both men and women and show them the dangers of alcohol,” said the researchers. "We have to target young people before they learn how to drink," and develop universal prevention programs.
Women with higher incomes drink more
The study also received recognition in this country. Gabriele Bartsch from the German center for addiction questions in Hamm, said according to a report from "Spiegel Online": "I can only confirm the results of the researchers for Germany." Women and the problems associated with them are getting closer and closer. "
This is particularly related to social development. Compared to the past, women are more likely to be in work, have more of their own money and are more confident. It is also striking that alcohol consumption in Germany is particularly widespread among women with higher incomes. Last but not least, beverage manufacturers are also launching more and more products that appeal to women.
Risky alcohol consumption in both sexes
According to Sebastian Müller from the Center for Alcohol Research (CAR) at Heidelberg University Hospital, the result is fundamentally plausible. However, this applies more to moderate alcohol consumption. In this country, women are still more likely to abstain from drinking than men and are also much less likely to drink heavily.
Last year, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) published the Federal Health Survey, which concluded that risky alcohol consumption in Germany is just as widespread among women at around 13 percent as it is at men at just under 16 percent. (ad)