Study investigators noted that men still drink alcohol in large quantities but the differences between them and their female peers are slowly vanishing.
For their research, a group of scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) dug into statistical data from 2002 through 2012. Over this period, the number of females who reported having at least a drink in the last month rose from 45 percent to 48 percent, while the number of men slightly decreased to 56 percent.
Between 2002 and 2012, women also reported that they drank alcohol more days a month: the average number rose to 7.3 days from 6.8 days in 2002. In men, the figure slipped from 9.9 to 9.5 days.
The same trend was observed in binge drinking, as well. More and more female college students admitted that they consume more than five drinks on a single occasion. Researchers said that negative health outcomes of heavy drinking are a lot worse in women.
U.S. men still drink more often and heavily than women, researchers said, since they consume more than double the quantity of alcohol women consume. On average, a U.S. male adult drinks 18 liters of alcohol every year, while a woman drinks 7.8 liters on an annual basis.
Twenty-five percent of men said that they abstain from drinking, while 37 women reported that they don’t drink alcohol at all. Instances when men were caught being drunk behind the wheel are more frequent than cases that involve female drivers. Men have also a higher risk of landing in the ER because of alcohol poisoning and to die in car accidents caused by alcohol.
The recent study was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
According to study background data, alcohol abuse caused 87,797 deaths every year from 2006 through 2010, but more than 60 percent of the deceased were males – 62,104.
Furthermore, men are more likely to engage in dangerous drinking behaviors such as combining alcohol with other substances. The number of male college students that admitted mixing alcohol with cannabis rose from 15 to 19 percent, while the number of female college students engaged in the behavior remained flat at 10 percent.
The major drawback of combining the two substances is a higher risk of overusing both substances, experts warned, which may lead to alcohol poisoning and even death.
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