By Ariel Scotti / May 17, 2019

Women Now Drinking Nearly As Much As Men … To Dire Health Effects

Women's bodies have less water than men's, allowing more alcohol to enter the bloodstream

Woman drinking
Women maybe shouldn't match guys drink for drink. (ennifer Polixenni Brankin/ WireImage)

Women are drinking more today than ever before — a statistic that closes the “drinking gender gap” while opening them up to a rash of long-term health problems.

The bodies of women and men do not break down and respond to alcohol identically, and it’s not just a matter of size, as Liquor.com notes. And no, this is not an opinion-based statement nor is it a shaming of females who like to imbibe.

Now that that’s out of the way: women’s bodies (evidently) contain less water, a key component in dissolving alcohol, which means they end up with higher concentrations of alcohol in their bloodstreams than men. Women also tend to carry more body fat than men do, which holds on to alcohol. The female body also produces less of the enzyme dehydrogenase (or ADH), which breaks down alcohol.

That means the adverse effects of alcohol can be more pronounced in women than they are in men, the site reported. Women tend to develop alcohol-induced liver disease at a much faster rate than men, and the female brain has been found to be more susceptible to the damaging effects of alcohol than its male equivalent. The risk of developing cancers or heart disease from drinking is higher in women than it is in men as well. All that said, this research is still young, since women and the effects of alcohol have only been studied in tandem for about a decade or so.

“Women weren’t studied because they tended to be abstainers or drank less than men,” said Cheryl Cherpitel, a senior scientist at the National Alcohol Research Center. “We’ve studied many countries. In countries with lower gender equality, drinking patterns vary much more between men and women than in countries where the genders are more equal.”

Editor’s Note: RealClearLife, a news and lifestyle publisher, is now a part of InsideHook. Together, we’ll be covering current events, pop culture, sports, travel, health and the world.

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