See also: VeryWell.com
See also: Children of Alcoholics
See also: Pregnancy
See also: Teens and Alcohol
See also: Women BAC chart
See also: Your Health
Abbey, Antonia; Zawacki, Tina; Buck, Philip O.; Clinton, Monique; McAusian, Pam; "Alcohol and sexual assault," ALCOHOL, HEALTH AND RESEARCH WORLD, 25 (1). Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25 percent of American women have experiences sexual assault., including rape. Approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim or both. Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often exacerbating existing risk factors. Believes about alcohol's effects on sexual aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking women, and alcohol's effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault. Despite advances in researchers' understanding of the relationships between alcohol consumption and sexual assault, many questions still need to be addressed in future studies.
Abbey, Antonia; Buck, Philip O.; Zawacki, Tina; Saenz, Christopher; "Alcohol's effect on perceptions of a potential date rape," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2003), 64: 669-677. One in 20 (4.7 percent) of women reported being raped in college since the beginning of the school year--a period of approximately 7 months - and nearly three-quarters of those rapes (72 percent) happened when the victims were so intoxicated they were unable to consent or refuse. Most significantly, women from colleges with medium and high binge-drinking rates had more than a 1.5 fold increased change of being raped while intoxicated than those from schools with low binge drinking rates. Other significant risk factors for being raped were being under 21 years old, white, residing in sorority houses, using illicit drugs and binge drinking in high school. Heavy episodic drinking (or binge drinking) is the number one public health problem among college students - associated with a range of consequences that include lower grades, vandalism and physical and sexual violence. Previous research shows that more women get raped while under the influence of alcohol than under the influence of any other so-called 'date rape" drug, such as GBH and Rohypnol. " Binge drinking isn't a harmless rite of passage but a risk factor in violence against women" said George W. Dowdall, Ph.D. and coauthor of the study.
Abbey, Antonia; Saenz, Christopher; Buck, Philip O.; Parkhill, Michele R.; Hayman, Lenwood W., Jr.; "The effects of acute alcohol consumption, cognitive reserve, partner risk, and gender on sexual decision making," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2006), 67: 113-121. Participants with less cognitive reserve made riskier decisions when intoxicated. Unexpectedly, although participants clearly perceived the high- and low-risk partners differently, this did not affect their willingness to have unprotected sex with this hypothetical partner. These findings demonstrate the need for sexually transmitted disease/HIV prevention programs that go beyond factual presentations and provide students with the skills they need to assess risk realistically and the need for programs with messages tailored for individuals with log cognitive skills.
"Adolescent treatment admissions by gender: 2008", The DASIS
Report (May 24, 2007), 7p. Girls ages 12-17 are more likely to start
substance abuse treatment at an earlier age, more likely to have a
co-occurring disorder and more likely to report alcohol or inhalants
as their primary substance of abuse, than boys of the same age. A
study of 2005 substance abuse treatment admissions reveals that girls
make up less than one-third of total admissions for the age group.
The report showed 142,600 admissions for substance abuse treatment in
the 12-17 age group--44,600 girls and 98,000 boys.
Co-occurring disorders: The report revealed:
--23 percent of girls had co-occurring disorders, compared with 18 percent of boys
--Marijuana was the primary drug of abuse for 72 percent of boys, but only 51 percent of girls
--Cocaine, opiates and other drugs accounted for 14 percent of admissions for girls and 8 percent for boys
--Girls were more likely than boys to enter treatment before age 16 for alcohol (44 percent vs. 30 percent of males) and for marijuana (47 percent vs 39 percent)
--Boys were more likely to enter treatment via the criminal justice system--55 percent compared with 39 for girls
--Treatment admissions referred by an individual person, such as a family member, were more common for girls (21 percent) than boys (16 percent)
"Alcohol and breast cancer", About.com May 13, 2003. "According to the American Medical Association "alcohol consumption is associated with a linear increase in breast cancer incidence in women over the range of consumption reported by most women. Among women who consume alcohol regularly, reducing alcohol consumption is a potential means to reduce breast cancer risk." The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services in its "Report on Carcinogens" 9th edition said that the effect of a given level of alcoholic beverage intake on cancer is influenced by other factors, especially smoking, but that smoking does not explain the increased cancer hazard associated with alcoholic beverage consumption. Breast cancer strikes approximately 1 in 9 women during their lifetime.
"Alcohol an important women's health issue", ALCOHOL ALERT 62
This Alcohol Alert reviews some common disorders associated with alcohol-related brain damage and the people at greatest risk for impairment. It looks at traditional as well as emerging therapies for the treatment and prevention of alcohol-related disorders and includes a brief look at the high-tech tools that are helping scientists to better understand the effects of alcohol on the brain.
While it's true that men are more likely to drink alcohol and more likely to drink greater amounts, women have a higher risk of developing problems from alcohol consumption. When a woman drinks, the alcohol in her bloodstream typically reaches a higher level than a man's even if both are drinking the same amount. This is because women's bodies generally have less water than men's bodies. Because alcohol mixes with body water, a given amount of alcohol is less diluted in a woman's body than in a man's. Women become more impaired by alcohol's effects and are more susceptible to alcohol&endash;related organ damage. That is, women develop damage at lower levels of consumption over a shorter period of time
Considering that about one third of American women report regular
alcohol consumption (1) and 2.3 percent, or 2.5 million women, meet
the criteria for alcohol dependence (2), it is clear that research to
better understand the effects of alcohol in women is critical. This
issue of Alcohol Alert summarizes some of the most practical
implications for women across the life span to come from that
Alati, Rosa; Lawlor, Debbie A.; Najman, Jake M.; Williams, Gail
M.; Bor, William; O'Callaghan, Michael; "Is there really a "J-shaped"
curve in the association between alcohol consumption and symptoms of
depression and anxiety? Findings from the Mater-University Study of
Pregnancy and its outcomes", ADDICTION (2005), 100: 643-651. Less
drinking equals less depression. Dr. Rosa Alti work showed that women
who have more than 15 drinks a week have an increased risk of
experiencing mental illness. In all three assessments, conducted when
women ere aged in their 20s, 30s and 40s, showed those who drank six
or more drinks per week were more likely to have symptoms of
depression and anxiety than those drinking less. For women in their
20s and 40s the lowest rates of symptoms were of those who did not
drink any alcohol, said Alti. The results also point to a varying
relationship between alcohol and depression and anxiety over the
course of a woman's life.
"Are women more vulnerable to alcohol's effects?" ALCOHOL ALERT 46
(December 1999). Women appear to be more vulnerable than men to many
adverse consequences of alcohol use. Women achieve higher
concentrations of alcohol in the blood and become more impaired than
men after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol. Research also
suggests that women are more susceptible than men to alcohol-related
organ damage and to trauma resulting from traffic crashes and
Arndt. J. T.; Rohsenow, D. J.; Almeida, A. B.; Hunt, S. K.;
Gokhale, M.; Gottlieb, D. J.; Howland, J.; "Sleep following alcohol
intoxication in healthy young, adults: effects of sex and family
history of alcoholism", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL
RESEARCH, (2011), 35 (5): 870-8. This study evaluated sex and family
history of alcoholism as moderators of subjective ratings of
sleepiness/sleep quality and polysomnography (PSG) following alcohol
intoxication in healthy, young women. 93 healthy adults were studied
(Mean age age was 24.4 +/- 2.7 years, 59 women, 29 subjects with a
positive family history of alcoholism. Conclusions: Alcohol
intoxication increases subjective sleepiness and disrupts sleep
objectively more in healthy women than in men, with no differences
evident by family history of alcoholism status. Evaluating moderators
of alcohol effects on sleep may provide insight into the role of
sleep in problem drinking.
Avant, L. L. "Alcohol impairs visual presence/absence detection
more for females than for males," PERCEPTION AND PSYCHO PHYSICS
(1990), 48 (3): 285-290. (90 male and female subjects, Breath
alcohol, fasted given 3 levels of alcohol 0.0%, 0.5%, or 1.0%.
Alcohol produced higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels, and
higher detection threshold duration's, for females than for males.
These results indicate that alcohol influences pre cortical visual
processing and that the influence is greater for females than for
males. The higher bioavailability of alcohol in women is likely due
to less gastric oxidation of ethanol in women than in men.)
Austin and Hitchcock in their book, "Breast Cancer -- What You
Should Know (But May Not Be Told) About Prevention, Diagnosis, and
Treatment," Prima 1994, point out that alcohol suppresses the immune
system. Finally, a more compelling reason for the link, the authors
cite, is that estrogen levels increase when women drink alcohol and
"most breast cancer risk factors also tie to estrogen levels. The
alcohol-induced increase in estrogen is therefore most likely to be
the primary problem."
Baer, John S.; Sampson, Paul D.; Barr, Helen M.; Connor, Paul D.;
Streissguth, Anne P.; "A 21-year analysis of prenatal alcohol
exposure on young adult drinking", ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY
(2003), 60: 377-385. Results: Univariate, partial least squares, and
regression analyses indicate that prenatal alcohol exposure is
significantly associated with alcohol problems at 21 years of age.
The relationship persists independent of the effects of family
history of alcohol problems, nicotine exposure, other prenatal
exposures, and postnatal environmental factors including parental use
of other drugs. Prenatal nicotine exposure was not associated with
alcohol problems by offspring at 21 years of age. Conclusions:
Prenatal alcohol exposure is a risk factor for the development of
drinking problems in humans. Potential mechanisms for the role of
fetal exposure and the development of alcohol problems deserve study.
Those with persistent alcohol problems in mid-life typically began
drinking in adolescence and young adulthood. Future follow-up is
needed with samples from older ages.
Barrett, Devlin, "Girls form addictions faster, study suggests"
The Arizona Republic, February 6, 2003 "Study: Girls form addictions
faster," National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia
University. "Young girls and women are more easily addicted to drugs
and alcohol, have different reasons than boys for abusing substances
and may need single-sex treatment programs to beat their addictions.
"They get hooked faster; they get hooked using lesser amounts of
alcohol and drug and cocaine, and they suffer the consequences faster
and more severely," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr.
Bouchez, Colette, "Drinking during pregnancy tied to child's later alcohol problems", HealthDayNews Reporter, April 14, 2003. (from ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY) A 22-year study was conduced at the University of Washington. The study involved 433 familles in which the mothers were first interviewed concerning drinking habits just before, and during their pregnancy. Of the group, 80 percent said they drank alcohol both before and during pregnancy, while 31 percent reported heavy episodic drinking (five drinks or more, on occasion). The women also answered questions about other lifestyle habits, including smoking, as well as providing information on family history of alcoholism.
Twenty-two years later, the same 433 familles were interviewed
again and the children were interviewed abut their behavior. By the
time they were 21 years-old, 83 percent of the children reported they
were already drinkers, with 8 percent exhibiting at leas mild
symptoms of alcohol dependence.
Brecklin, Leanne R.; Ullman, Sarah E.; "The roles of victim and offender alcohol use in sexual assaults: results from the National Violence against women survey," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2002), 63: 57-63. Data from 859 female sexual assault victims identified from the National Violence Against Women Survey were examined. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that offender drinking was associated with greater likelihood of rape competition, but was unrelated to physical injury or medical care when victim demographics and assault characteristics were controlled. Offender aggression was the strongest predicator of both victim injury and medical care outcomes (but not rape completion). Furthermore, neither victim drinking at the time of the incident nor victim past drinking was significantly related to assault outcomes. These results suggest that offender behavior is most important for predicting assault outcomes sustained by sexual assault victims.
Victims perceived that 63.5% of their assailants were using
alcohol and or drugs, of which 70.8% were judged to have used alcohol
only. Victims reported using alcohol and or drugs themselves in 19.9%
of assaults, of which 83.9% involved alcohol use only. More than half
of assaults committed by either husbands/partners (28.2%) or
boyfriends/dates (29.4%), close to one quarter (24.4%) were
perpetrated by another male acquaintance. Less than one quarter
(18.0%) of assaults were perpetrated by strangers to the victims.
Almost all (94.3%) sexual assaults occurred indoors. Approximately
one third (34.5%) or offenders used physical aggression against their
victims, 10.0% carried a weapon, and 31.1% threatened to harm or kill
the victim or someone else close to the victims.
Burden, Matthew J.; Jacobson, Sandra W.; Jacobson, Joseph L.;
Relation of prenatal alcohol exposure to cognitive processing speed
and efficiency in childhood, ALCOHOLISM : CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL
RESEARCH (August 2005), 29(8):1473-1483 August 2005. The study was
designed to examine prenatal alcohol-related deficits in both
processing speed and processing efficiency in four domains of
cognitive function. Black children (n = 337; age, 7.5 years),
prospectively recruited to over-represent prenatal alcohol exposure
at moderate-to-heavy levels, were assessed on four processing speed
tasks, using a Sternberg paradigm. Prenatal alcohol exposure was
associated with slower processing speed on several of the Sternberg
tasks, and the number comparison task showed a specific deficit in
processing efficiency. These effects on tasks involving effortful
processing contrasted with the lack of performance differences on the
more automatic RT measure. The relation of prenatal alcohol exposure
to working memory was mediated, in part, by an associated reduction
in processing speed. These data confirm reports by other
investigators linking prenatal alcohol exposure to slower processing
speed and show that this RT deficit is found within the context of
complex cognition but not where automatic processing is involved. The
reduction in RT accounts, in part, for the previously reported
alcohol-related effects on working memory. The number comparison
slope was the only specific component of information processing
affected, confirming previous reports of a distinctive prenatal
alcohol effect on number processing.
Caetano, R.; Schafer, J.; Fals-Stewrt, W.; O'Farrell, A. T.;
Miller, B.; "Intimate partner violence and drinking: new research on
methodological issues, stability and change, and treatment",
ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH 92003). 27 (2):
292-300. (137 men) "We found that the timing of violent episodes was
more likely to occur during or shortly after the drinking episodes.
Also, individuals seeking treatment for domestic violence who have
more severe alcohol misuse problems ( drinking six or more drinks in
24 hours are more than 18 times higher and the odds for sever are
more than 19 times higher) were found generally more likely to engage
in partner violence on any given day, regardless of drinking, than
their counterparts without drinking problems."
Chakkalakal, Dennis A. ; "Alcohol-induced bone loss and deficient
bone repair" ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2005),
29(12):2077-2090. "Chronic consumption of excessive alcohol
eventually results in an osteopenic skeleton and increased risk for
osteoporosis. Alcoholics experience not only increased incidence of
fractures from falls, but also delays in fracture healing compared
with non-alcoholics. In this review the term "alcohol-induced bone
disease" is used to refer to these skeletal abnormalities.
Alcohol-induced osteopenia is distinct from osteoporosis such as post
menopausal osteoporosis and disuse osteoporosis. Gonadal
insufficiency increases the rate of bone remodeling, whereas alcohol
decreases this rate. Thus, histomorphometric studies show different
characteristics for the bone loss that occurs in these two disease
states. In particular, alcohol-induced osteopenia results mainly from
decreased bone formation rather than increased bone resorption.
Human, animal and cell culture studies of the effects of alcohol on
bone strongly suggest alcohol has a dose-dependent toxic effect on
osteoblast activity. The capacity of bone marrow stromal cells to
differentiate into osteoblasts has a critical role in the cellular
processes involved in the maintenance of the adult human skeleton by
bone remodeling. Chronic alcohol consumption suppresses osteoblastic
differentiation of bone marrow cells and promotes adipogenesis. In
fracture healing, the effect of alcohol is to suppress synthesis of
an ossifiable matrix, possibly due to inhibition of cell
proliferation and maldifferentiation of mesenchymal cells in the
repair tissue. This results in the deficient bone repair observed in
animal studies, characterized by repair tissue of lower stiffness,
strength and mineral content. Current knowledge of cellular effects
and molecular mechanisms involved in alcohol-induced bone disease is
insufficient to develop interventional strategies for its prevention
"Chocolate and craving," About.com now VeryWell.com.
"The same alkaloid compounds found in alcohol are also present in
chocolate, researchers say. Women seem to be more prone to chocolate
cravings than men. The Diabetes Association report found that only 15
percent of males appear to crave chocolate, as much as 40 percent of
women do - and 75 percent of them claim that absolutely nothing other
than chocolate can satisfy their appetite. Because chocolate cravings
may be influenced by a deficiency in magnesium, that this may be why
some experience an increase in chocolate cravings during PMS."
Wendy Chen of Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues studied the self-reported habits and health of more than 80,000 nurses in the United States, including 44,187 post menopausal nurses.
The researched discovered that women past menopause who reported having an average of one and a half drinks a day had a 30 percent greater risk of breast cancer than those who drank little or no alcohol. Women who took HRT for five years and drank the same amount nearly doubled their risk.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 190,000 U.S.
women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and it is the
second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, after lung cancer.
About.com January 16, 2003. ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE (2003).
Chesson, Harrell W.; Harrison, Paul; Stall, Ron; "Changes in alcohol consumption and in sexually transmitted disease incidence rates in the United States: 1983-1998", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2003), 64: 623-630. "Results: From 1983 to 1998, changes in alcohol consumption were significantly associated with changes in gonorrhea and syphilis rates. Each 1? increase in per capita alcohol consumption was associated with increase of about ).4% to ).7% in reported gonorrhea incidence rates and 1.8% to 3.6% in reported syphilis incidence rates. Conclusions: The association between alcohol and risky sex, well document at the level of the individual, might hold at the population level as well."
Cole-Hardin, S.; Wilson, J. R.; "Ethanol metabolism in men and
women," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (1987), 48 (4): 380-387. (Twins
and breath alcohol reproducibility.)
Daugherty, Donald M.;Mathias, Charles W.; Tester Melissa L.; March, Dawn M.;"Age at first drink related to behavioral measures of impulsivity: the immediate and delayed memory tasks", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2004), 28)3):408-414. Using a laboratory behavioral measure of impulsivity, two groups of women were compared. They differed in their self-reported age of first drink (early-on set drinking, age <18, n=40 and late-onset drinking, age >=21, n=23. The results demonstrate that differences in impulsive behavioral responding are distinguishable even between groups of alcohol drinkers who are not experiencing clinically significant problems with alcohol.
Davies, Becky T.; Bowen, Charles T.; "Total body water and peak
alcohol concentration: a comparative study of young, middle-age, and
older females," ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (1999)
23 (6): 969-975. "Bioelectrical impedance analysis and
anthropomorphic equations were used to estimate the total body water,
percent body water, and percent body fat for each subject.
Significantly higher blood alcohol concentrations were obtained in
older females[mean blood alcohol concentration (+/-SD) = 0.0975
+/- 0.018], compared with younger females 0.0818 =/- 0.016 and
0.0811 +/- 0.012). The results suggest that this effect cannot be
fully explained by the notion that older persons have a smaller body
water volume. Particular attention is paid to the difference between
total body water in liters and body water as expressed as a
percentage of body weight. Evidence is offered to demonstrated that
percent body fat is not a determinate of the blood alcohol level as
an individual will attain. The findings are discussed with particular
reference to the lack of experimental work involving older females
Dees, W. Les; Srivastava, Vinod K.; Hiney, Jill K.; "Alcohol and female puberty: the role of intraovarin systems", ALCOHOL RESEARCH AND HEALTH, 25 (4). Research suggests that the normal timing and progression of puberty may be at risk in human adolescents consuming even relatively moderate amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. Evidence reviewed above supports a contributory role for the IFG-1 (insulin-like-growth factor-1) and NO (nitric oxide) systems in regulating ovarian function. Moreover, the function of these systems can be altered by alcohol. Chronic alcohol exposure decreases production of ovarian IGF-1 and its receptor and increases ovarian production of NO. These actions suggest a combined negative effect contributing to suppressed estradiol secretion at a critical time of ovarian maturation. Thus, the effects of alcohol exposure during adolescence may result not only from disturbances of the H-P-O axis but also from altered functioning of intra ovarian systems. Alcohol's effects on intra ovarian systems in mature women are unknown.
The postulated existence of multiple mechanisms whereby alcohol
can delay puberty underscores the need for increased prevention and
public education efforts to convince youth of the risks of drinking.
Ongoing research will determine the possible long-range consequences
of alcohol-induced interference with puberty.
Dick, Danielle M.; Pagan, Jason L.; Holiday, Candice, Viken,
Richard, Pulkkinen, Lea, Kaprio, Jaakko, Rose, Richard J.; "Gender
differences in friends' influences on adolescent drinking: a genetic
and epidemiological study", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL
RESEARCH ( December,2007), Results: Friends' drinking, smoking, and
delinquency were more strongly related to alcohol use in adolescents
with opposite-sex friends, compared to adolescents with only same-sex
friends. Friends' alcohol use showed modest evidence of genetic
influence in girls, suggesting peer selection, however, there was no
evidence of genetic influence on friends' alcohol use in boys. The
correlation between adolescent and friend drinking was largely
attributable to shared environmental effects and genders.
Conclusions: Gender and gender of friends moderate the associations
between friends' behavior and adolescents' alcohol use, with evidence
that girls, and those with opposite sex friends may be more
susceptible to friends' influence. Genetically informative analyses
suggest that similarity in alcohol sue between adolescents and their
friends is mediated , at least partially, through environmental
Dick, D. M.; Bernard, M.; Alley, F.; Viken, R; Pulkkinen, L.: Kaprio, J.; Rose, R. J.; "The role of socioregional factors in moderating genetic influences on early adolescent behavior problems and alcohol use", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (October, 2009), 33 (10): 1739-48. Twin and family studies have demonstrated that adolescent alcohol use and behavior problems are influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Recently, studies have begun to investigate how genetic and environmental influences amy interact, with efforts underway to identify specific environmental variables that moderate the expression of genetic dispositions. Here, the test was for moderating effects of socioregional factors on alcohol use and behavior problem assessed in a younger sample of adolescent Finnish twins. Methods: Using date from the population-based Finnish twin study, FinnTwin 12, biometric twin models were fit to data on >1,400 twin pris to examine the significance of each of the socioregional moderating variables on alcohol use measured at age 14, and behavior problems measured at ate 12. Conclusions: The moderation effects observed on behavior problems in early adolescence paralleled the effects found on alcohol use late in adolescence in an independent sample, providing further support for the idea that behavior problems may represent an earlier manifestation of the predisposition to subsequent alcohol problems. Our findings also support the growing body of evidence suggesting that females may be more susceptible to a variety of environmental influences than males.
"Drinking and the female brain: two studies indicate women are more severely effected", About .com. Hommer reports that "Brain shrinkage increases with age in all people. The early decreases seen in alcoholics may make them more vulnerable to cognitive decline and dementia as they grow older." Tapert: "The main finding was that the alcohol-dependent women showed less activation in brain areas that are needed for spatial tasks, like maps and mechanics, and for working with information that is held mentally, like doing math inside your head or making sense of a lecture or set of complex instructions. The brain parts that showed the differences are in areas that we need for finding our way around, and working with all the information we are bombarded with in everyday life."
"Even light drinking while pregnant can be harmful," ALCOHOLISM AND CLINICAL RESEARCH, March, 2004. Even light to moderate drinking during pregnancy may interfere with learning and memory during adolescence. An ongoing longitudinal survey of 580 children and their mothers examined learning and memory to determine whether subjects were having difficulty with initial learning, remembering information for a short time, or after a long period of time. 45 percent of the women drank, on average, less than one drink per day. Despite these relatively low levels of alcohol consumption, researchers found an association with subtle difficulties with learning and memory in the offspring at 14 years of age, specifically with the auditory/verbal domain. Another finding is that the effects of alcohol exposure on memory for verbal information were mediated by verbal learning. Growth deficits among those children exposed to light to moderate drinking during gestation. These finding paralleled earlier reports of continued growth deficits among those children exposed to light to moderate drinking during their mother's pregnancy. "This shows that parental alcohol exposure can lead to deficits in multiple domains." Women planning to become pregnant should visit an obstetrician so they can make better choices about drinking if they are planning to become, or think they may be pregnant.
Fals-Stewart, William; "The occurrence of partner physical aggression on days of alcohol consumption: a longitudinal diary study", JOURNAL OF CONSULTING AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY (2003), 71 (1): 41-52. "The likelihood of partner physical aggression on days of male partners' alcohol consumption, during a 15-month period was examined for men entering a domestic violence treatment program (n=137) and domestically violent men entering an alcoholism treatment program (n=135). For men entering the domestic violence treatment program (alcoholism treatment program odds in parentheses), the odds of any male-to-female physical aggression were more then 8 time (111 times) higher on days when men drank than on days of no alcohol consumption. The odds of severe male-to-female physical aggression were more than 11 times (11 times) higher on days of men's drinking than on days of no drinking. These findings support the proximal effect model of alcohol use and partner violence."
Farrimond, Thomas; "Effects of alcohol on visual constancy values and possible relation to driving performance, " PERCEPTUAL AND MOTOR SKILLS (1990), 70: 291-295. [The effects of visual constancy were studied in 21 men and women aged 21-23 over two days. Subjects were tested with and without food. The results indicate that shape/size constancy may be reduced by alcohol. The author hypothesizes that hazards would then appear 20% further away, and a driver who should apply the break at 50 m(eters) may delay brake application until only 40 m(eters) away. Unknown if BAC or breath alcohol.]
"FAS: high risk groups targeted"--Native American and Afro-American women are at the highest risk to have babies with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and should be targeted for intense education about the cause of the condition, research suggests. From About.com December, 8. 2002.
Flynn, Heather A., ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL & EXPERIMENTAL
RESEARCH (January, 2003). A Michigan study of 1,131 pregnant women
ages 18-46 were surveyed about their alcohol use. Eighty-six percent
of the women fell into the low-risk group, consuming one drink or
less per week. 7 percent of the women reported one or more binge
drinking episodes during their pregnancy. There were no significant
differences in drinking behavior associated with the women's martial
status, race or education. Women who were low-risk drinkers were
significantly older than women who did not drink at all during
pregnancy, but there was no significant age difference between low
and high-risk drinkers. Among the women who reported any drinking,
54.5 percent of them said their health care provider had talked with
them about drinking while pregnant. Flynn and colleagues think that
screenings such as the one conducted in their study may improve
detection of drinking during pregnancy and prompt timely
interventions by obstetricians.
Gardner, Amanda, Binge Drinking on Rise in Young Women, June 23,
2004, HealthDay Reporter. "Binge drinking among young women is on the
rise, bringing with it a number of health consequences, including
fetal alcohol syndrome. That's the conclusion of a report, Alcohol
and Pregnancy Don't Mix , issued Wednesday by the National
Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It found that binge drinking
in women aged 18 to 44 increased in the United States by 13 percent
between 1999 and 2002. Binge drinking, defined for the purposes of
this report as having more than five drinks on one occasion, puts
women at an increased risk for unintended pregnancies and means they
are more likely to drink while pregnant. Henry Wechsler, director of
College Alcohol Studies at the Harvard School of Public Health in
Boston, called binge drinking "a national problem." "It results in a
number of negative effects ranging from automobile fatalities to
fetal alcohol syndrome to all sorts of other problems," he said.
Gauthier, Theresa W.; Drews-Botsch, Carolyn, Falek, Arthur; Coles,
Claire; Brown, Lou Ann S., "Maternal alcohol abuse and neonatal
infection", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2005), 29
(6):1035-1043. 872 newborns were analyzed with 51 or 5.8% having
newborn infections. Infants whose mothers reported alcohol use,
excessive drinking or smoking in pregnancy were more likely to have a
newborn diagnosed with an infection than were mothers who reported
abstaining from alcohol or cigarettes.
Giancola, Peter R.; "Alcohol-related aggression in men and women: the influence of dispositional aggressivity", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2002) 63: 696-708. "Of all variables, provocation was the strongest elicitor of aggressions. Over all, persons with high dispositional aggressivity exhibited more aggression than did those with low dispositional aggressivity. Alcohol increased aggression for persons with high, but not for those with low, dispositional aggressivity. Men and women with low dispositional aggressivity did not differ in aggression. Men with high dispositional aggressivity, were more aggressive than their female counterparts. This is the first investigation to examine the influence of dispositional aggressivity on the alcohol-aggression relation in men and women. The results highlight the fact that alcohol consumption does not increase aggression in all persons and in all situations."
Grucza, Richard A. , Bucholz, Kathleen K., Rice, John P., Bierut, Laura J.; " trends in the lifetime prevalence of alcohol dependence in the United States: a reevaluation, ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2008), 32 (5): 763-770. "Results: In contrast with results from single cross-sectional analyses, there were few significant cross-cohort differences among groups of men compared at similar ages. On the other hand, women born between 1954 and 1963 were at 1.2-fold higher odds for lifetime drinking, and those who drank were at 1.5-fold higher odds for lifetime alcohol dependence, compared with the immediately preceding birth cohort (1944-1953)). The 1944 to 1952 cohort was also at elevated odd for lifetime drinking compared with their predecessors (1934-1943). These results were largely due to changes among White and Hispanic women.
The researchers speculate that the following cultural changes
contributed to the increase in prevalence of alcohol dependence for
women after World War II:
--it became more socially acceptable for women to drink
--more women entered the workforce
--more women went to college
--women were less hampered by gender stereotypes
--women had more purchasing power
Another explanation of the increase of alcohol dependence in women
is the fact that women have a well-documented heightened
vulnerability to the effects of alcohol, compared with men, achieving
greater blood alcohol levels with smaller does, the authors
HELPGUIDE.org Women & Alcohol
Risks to women who drink. http://www.helpguide.org/ search for women and alcohol
Hernandez-Collados, A.; Sanchez-Turet, M.; Sanchez-Sastre, J.;
"Different cognitive effects in the increasing and decreasing limb of
the metabolic curve of ethanol," MEDICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH (1998), 26:
173-175. (20 men and 19 women, single dose of ethanol 1 g/kg, Breath
alcohol, mean BAC of 0.24 g/l, subjects performance decreased
significantly during absorption. This impairment was related to
perceptual motor and visual memory processes. In the elimination
phase, at a mean BAC or 0.47 g/l, there was no decrease in
performance. We may conclude that behavior was different in the
ascending and descending phases. Very low alcohol doses, much lower
than that legally permitted for drivers in various countries, produce
a marked impairment over a period of time after ingestion of
Hommer, Daniel W.; Momenan, Reza; Kaiser, Erica; Rawlings, Robert
R.; "Evidence of a gender-related effect of alcoholism on brain
volumes", AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY (2001),158 : 198-204.
(Alcoholic women had significantly smaller volumes of gray and white
matter as well as greater volumes of sulcal and ventricular CSF than
nonalcoholic women. The differences in gray and white matter volumes
between alcoholic and nonalcoholic men were significant, but the
significance of these differences was of a smaller magnitude than the
significance of the difference between alcoholic and nonalcoholic
women. Direct comparisons of alcoholic men and women showed that the
proportion of intra cranial contents occupied by gray matter was
smaller in alcoholic women than in alcoholic men. the magnitudes of
differences in brain volumes adjusted for intra cranial size between
alcoholic women and nonalcoholic women were greater than the
magnitudes of the adjusted differences between alcoholic men and
nonalcoholic men. Conclusion: These results are consistent with
greater sensitivity to alcohol neurotoxicity among women.)
"How safe are women in barrooms?", University of Buffalo's
Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL
VIOLENCE (2003), December. The study showed that heavy drinking,
going to and leaving a bar with individuals not well-known to the
women and talking to a greater number of individuals while in the bar
environment are social behaviors associated with barreled aggression.
The competitive activity of playing pool and illegal activities
involving drug sales or prostitution in a bar were identified as
increasing the risk of severe physical aggression. 198 women with a
average age of 29 who were considered at relatively high risk and
drinks in bars at least once a month, reported drinking an average of
six drinks on a typical night at their usual bar.
"How women recover from addiction" About.com, June 2, 2003. Many of theses women are over the age of 35 and hold a college degree &endash; took a proactive role in overcoming substance abuse, replacing those addictions with new lifestyles that include school, work, community service and physical exercise.
Women are the fastest-growing segment of substance abusers in the United States: About 2.7 million American women abuse alcohol or drugs, or one-quarter of all abusers, according to the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. The women viewed using drugs and alcohol as an activity they were involved in, not an identity they had assumed.
The participants began using drugs or alcohol in their teens or early 20s to mask the pain of family violence and incest, according to Grant, who added that all also reported having a family member who was an addict. These experiences produced crippling low self-esteem, a theme particular to these women's stories.
"I've never heard a male addict, to this day, in my work, talk
about a 'lack of self-esteem,'" Grant said.
Hallfors, Denise D., Waller, Martha W.. Ford, Carol A., et. al.;
"Adolescent depression and suicide risk association with sex and drug
behavior", AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE (2004), 27 (3):
224-231. Teens engaging in risk behaviors re at increased odds for
depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Although causal
direction as not established, involvement in any sex or drug use is
cause for concern, and should be a clinical indication for mental
health screening for girls; both boys and girls should be screened if
engaging in any marijuana or illegal drug use.
Jerslid, Devon; "Alcohol in the vulnerable lives of college
women," CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION (2002), 48, (38): B10, 2p.
"Alcohol related problems in any population increase as consumption
increases. At two drinks a day, a woman's health risks increase
significantly. Getting drunk at an early age is a very strong
predictor of problem drinking and multiple addictions. Even when a
woman and a man weigh the same, the woman gets high on less alcohol,
and she gets addicted more easily. She more quickly develops such
physical complications as liver disease, high blood pressure, and
hepatitis. (For instance: A woman's risk of liver cirrhosis begins at
only two drinks a day; a man's risk begins at four to six drinks a
day.) In sobriety, a woman's damaged organs take longer to repair
themselves. If she has four or more drinks a day, some studies show
that she is also up to 40 percent more likely to get breast cancer
than women who don't drink. Female alcoholics are as much as twice as
likely to die as male alcoholics in the same age group--even as male
alcoholics die at three times the rate of men in the general
population. This is due partly to higher accident rates,
victimization, and physiological vulnerability among women, although
suicide is a factor. Generally women actually have a higher rate of
successful suicide. Teen girls who drink are more than five times a
month are almost six times more likely to attempt suicide than those
who never drink." If you, as a woman, live like a man, work like a
man, and drink like a man you will become addicted sooner and die
sooner, because you aren't a man.
Ling, J,; Hefferman, T. J.; Buchanan, t.; Rodgers, J.'; Scholey,
A. B.; Parrott, A. C.; "Effects of alcohol on subjective ratings of
prospective and everyday memory deficits", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND
EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2003), 27 (6): 970-4. 763 participants: 463
female, and 298 males. Heavy drinking was defined as 25 drinks per
week, moderate 10 t0 24 drinks per week and light one to nine drinks
per week. (Moderate drinking is defined as no more than 2 drinks per
day for males and no more than one per day for females.) Research has
shown that heavy alcohol use has a detrimental effect on
retrospective memory. Less is known about the effect of alcohol on
everyday memory. This study examined self-ratings for two aspects of
memory performance: prospective memory (for example, forgetting to
pass on a messages) and everyday memory (measured by cognitive
failures, such as telling someone a joke you told them before). The
results support and extend the findings of previous research: the
findings were consistent with the idea that heavy use of alcohol does
have a significant and negative effect on everyday cognitive
performance. Someone drinking more than 21 drinks per week for women
and 28 for men should know they may have significant cognitive
impairment from that.
Mann, K.; Ackermann, B.; Croissant, G.; Nakovics, H.; Diehl, A.; "Neuroimaging of gender differences in alcohol dependence: are women more vulnerable?', ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2005), 29 (5): 896-901. (158 subjects 76 women and 82 age-atched men) "Women typically start to drink later in life, consume less per occasion and are, in general, less likely to develop alcohol dependence. One could reason that women are less affected by alcohol. But there is, in fact, evidence for a faster progression of the developmental events leading to dependence among female alcoholics and an earlier onset of adverse consequences of alcoholism. This suggests that women may be more vulnerable to chronic alcohol consumption."
"We confirmed greater brain atrophy in alcoholic women and men
compared to healthy controls," said Mann. "Furthermore, the women
developed equal brain-volume reductions as the men after a
significantly shorter period of alcohol dependence than the men.
These results corroborate previous studies that have found other
gender-related consequences of alcohol, such as cognitive deficits,
alcoholic cardiomyopathy, myopathy of skeletal muscle, and alcoholic
liver disease - all of which occur earlier in women than in men
despite a significantly shorter exposure to alcohol." The good news
is that abstinence seems to partially reverse the brain atrophy, for
Mohler-Kuo, Meichun; Dowdall, George W.; Koss, Mary P.; and
Wechsler, Henry; "Correlates of rape while intoxicated in a national
sample of college women," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2004), 65:
37-48. Heavy alcohol use is widespread among college students,
particularly in those social situations where the risk of rape rises.
The purpose of this study was to present prevalence data for rape
under the condition of intoxication when the victim is unable to
consents and to identify college and individual-level risk factors
associated with the condition. Results: roughly one in twenty women
reported being raped. Nearly three quarters (72%) of the victims
experienced rape while intoxicated. Women who were under 21, were
white, reside in sorority house, use illicit drugs, drank heavily in
high school and attended colleges with high rates of heavy episodic
drinking were at higher risk of rape while intoxicated. Conclusions:
The high proportion of rapes found to occur when women were
intoxicated indicates the need for alcohol prevention programs on
campuses that address sexual assault, both to educate men about what
constitutes rape and to advise women of risky situations. The
findings that some campus environments are associated with higher
levels of both drinking and rape will help target rape prevention
programs in colleges."
Negrusz, Adam; "Estimate of the incidence of drug-facilitated
sexual assault in the U. S.", National Criminal Justice Reference
Service, 2005. "Although less than five percent of sexual assault
victims are immobilized by date-rape drugs, drugs play a role in 62
percent of the estimated 100,000 reported assaults committed in the
United States each year, due to the voluntary use of drugs by the
O'Connor, Mary J.; Whaley, Shannon E.; "Health care provider advice and risk factors associated with alcohol consumption following pregnancy recognition", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2006) 67:22-31. 279 women continued to drink after learning they were pregnancy. 60% of the sample continued to drink even though they were advised of the possible hazards to their child
Alcoholism's effects ripple though out our society, says Pace, who
cites a sobering array of statistics:
*50% of family court cases involve the use of alcohol;
*38% of child-abuse case involve alcohol;
*80% of fire deaths and 40 % of industrial accidents involve drinking;
*60% of murders involve alcohol;
*50% of suicides and 50% of fatal auto accidents involve drinking;
*between 20 and 40% of homeless Americans have a drinking problem.:
*fetal alcohol syndrome is now the third-leading cause of birth defects in the United States.
Sinha, Rajita;, "Women." In: HANDBOOK OF ALCOHOLISM, edited by
Gerald Zernig, Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2000, pp. 151-164. "14 million
U. S. adults (7.55% of the adult population) meet criteria for
alcohol abuse or dependence at any given time and approximately
one-third are women. This gender gap in problem drinking is getting
smaller, especially for the younger age group, with recent surveys
indicating that the ratio of problem drinking women as compared to
men for the 18 to 29 age groups is 2:1. Women become intoxicated
after drinking smaller quantities of alcohol as compared to men.
After consuming the same amount of alcohol, women achieve higher
blood alcohol levels than men. First, women have lower total body
water than men of comparable size. As alcohol diffuses uniformly in
all body water after consumption, and women have less body water than
men, the achieve higher concentrations of alcohol in their blood then
men after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol. Second, there is
evidence to suggest that women have reduced activity of alcohol
dehydrogenase, the primary enzyme involved in alcohol metabolism in
the stomach where a substantial amount of alcohol is metabolized
before it enters systemic circulation. This diminished activity leads
to less metabolism of alcohol in the stomach for women and higher
amounts entering the bloodstream and available for its effect on
various organ system. In fact, alcoholic women have virtually
nonexistent amounts of gastric alcohol dehydrogenase, making them
more vulnerable to alcohol's negative effects. Finally, there is some
evidence that fluctuation in gonadal hormonal levels during the
menstrual cycle may affect the rate of alcohol metabolism and
contribute to the increased blood alcohol concentrations in
"Harassing under the influence; male drinking norms and behaviors
and the gender harassment of female coworkers". This study was funded
by NIAAA and conducted by the R. Brinkley Smithers Institute for
Alcohol-Related Workplace Studies at Cornell University. A coauthor
was Samuel Bacharach. The survey found a more than twofold increase
in the incidence of gender harassment experienced by women for every
additional alcoholic drink consumed by the men in their work units
during or around working hours. Women are at greater risk of gender
harassment when they worked in places where heavy drinking,
particularly on the part of their male colleagues, was tolerated.
HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF ALCOHOLISM IN WOMEN
Physiologic effects of consumption:
*Intoxication at lower doses
*Toxic effects of alcohol occur at lower doses
*Death rates are 50 to 100% higher in women than men
* Death rates are related to suicides, alcohol-related accidents, circulatory disorders, and liver cirrhosis
Alcohol-induced liver disease
*Greater incidence in women
*More rapid progression of disease in women
Neurological and cognitive impairment
*Greater cerebral atrophy in women
*Greater susceptibility to alcohol-related cognitive impairment
*Increased risk for breast cancer has been suggested
Menstrual cycle disorders and gynecological problems
* Painful menstruation, heavy flow, and greater premenstrual discomfort
*Irregular and absent cycles
*Fetal alcohol syndrome
Several studies have found a significant association between childhood sexual abuse and heavy drinking in women. In a 1992 U. S. survey of alcohol and family violence, a wife's drinking, whether alone or with her husband, led to more severe violence both by and toward the wife. Women with alcohol problems are often reported to have higher overall comorbid psychiatric disorders, especially affective disorders, borderline personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Alcoholic women entering treatment also have lower self-esteem as compared to alcoholic men, which may be related to high rates of physical and sexual abuse among alcoholic women. Adolescent girls are more influenced by peer drinking than boys, and group pressure contributes significantly to alcohol misuse among female adolescents. Both clinical and epidemiological data have consistently revealed strong relationships between women's drinking and their partner's drinking across the world. Essentially, the data indicate that women with problem drinking are more likely than their male counterparts to have spouses or significant others who are problem drinkers.
There is also a significant amount of social stigma and
stereotyping in society regarding alcohol use among women. Marital
status plays a significant role in drinking patterns among women.
Young women who are single, divorced, or separated are more likely to
drink frequently and in larger quantities than married women. Data
suggests that when treatment focuses on relationship and family
issues, outcomes for families and the women themselves are enhanced.
Alcoholic men are more likely to receive treatment than women.
Lynskey, Michael T.; Bucholz, Kathleen K.; Madden, Pamela A. F.; Heath, Andrew C.; "Early-onset alcohol-use behaviors and subsequent alcohol-related driving risks in young women: a twin study:, JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND DRUGS (2007), 68 (7): 798-804. The purpose of this study was to estimate associations between early-onset alcohol use/intoxication and subsequent risks of alcohol-related driving risks in young women after control for familial liability for these behaviors. Method: Self-reported data on alcohol use and associated risks were collected from a representative sample of 3,786 Missouri-born adolescent female twins. Results: After statistical control for familial liability to alcohol-related driving risks, alcohol dependence, and length of exposure to risk (i.e., time between the earlier of age at onset of drinking or age 6 (the minimum legal driving age in Missouri), young women who reported early-onset alcohol use/intoxication had odds of alcohol-related driving risks that were from 1.6 to 2.2 times higher than those with a later onset of alcohol use or intoxication. Conclusions: Young women who commence drinking at an early age are at heightened risks for subsequent alcohol-related driving risks, and these associations cannot be explained entirely by familial liability for these behaviors.
Mennella, Julie A.; Garcia-Gomez, Pamela L.; (Sleep disturbances after acute exposure to alcohol in mother's milk," ALCOHOL (2001), 25: 153-158. "Although the mechanisms underlying the reduction in sleep remain to be elucidated, these findings demonstrate that short-term exposure to small amounts of alcohol in mother's milk produces distinctive changes in the infants' sleep-wake patterning.)
Mumenthaler, M.; Taylor, J.; O'Hara, R.; Yesavage, J.' "Gender differences in moderate drinking effects: ALCOHOL RESEARCH & HEALTH (1999)23 (1): 55-64. Women appear to become more impaired than men after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol, achieving higher blood alcohol concentrations even when doses re adjusted for body weight. This finding my be attributable in part to gender difference in total boy water content. Men and women appear to eliminate approximately the same total amount of alcohol per unit body weight per hour. However, women seed to eliminate significantly more alcohol per unit of learn body mass per hour then men. Some studies report that women are more susceptible than men to alcohol-related impairment of cognitive performance, especially in tasks involving delayed memory or divided attention functions. Psychomotor performance impairment, however, does not appear to be affected by gender. The article provides an overview of alcohol metabolism (pharmacokinetics) and reviews recent studies on gender differences in alcohol absorption, distribution, elimination, and impairment. Speculation that gender differences in alcohol pharmacokinetics or alcohol-induced performance impairment may be caused by the menstrual cycle and variations in female sex hormones are discussed. It is concluded that the menstrual cycle is unlikely to influence alcohol pharmacokinetics.
Nephin, Dan, "Teens shorter, lighter if mom drank in pregnancy,"
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, October 17, 2002. University of Pittsburgh
researcher, Nancy Day said her study reinforces the federal
governments' stand that no alcohol is safe for pregnant women. Day
found that even light drinking--about 11/2 drinks a week and
measurable effects on children in later years. At age 14, children
born to women who were light drinkers in their first trimester
weighted about 3 pounds less than children born to abstainers and
children born to heavy drinkers weighted up to 16 pounds less than
children born to abstainers. Since 1982 Day is following 565 children
whose mothers drank and plans to look at alcohol's cognitive
New Breast Cancer Risk Found: Mom's Drinking Can Increase Risk of
Daughter's Breast Cancer, Oct. 21, 2002, About.com. "Women who
drink moderate to high quantities of alcohol during pregnancy could
be contributing to an increased risk of breast cancer among their
daughters, according to a study presented at the first annual
Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting conducted by the
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Since alcohol
increases both estrogens in the blood as well as breast cancer risk,
researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center wondered whether
alcohol exposure in utero through a pregnant mother affects breast
cancer risk. Further, findings obtained in human studies suggest that
the in utero period plays an important role in determining future
risk of developing breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading
cause of cancer-related death in women."
"No drinking 'safe" for moms: even one drink a day can be harmful
if pregnant," About.com No amount of drinking, not even one
glass of wine is safe for pregnant women without possibly affecting
the behavior of their child, according to research from Wayne State
Paddock, Catharine "Any type of alcohol drink raises breast cancer
risk, new study". Medical News Today, September 28, 2007. A large US
study suggests that it did not matter whether women drank beer, wine,
or spirits, they all raised the risk of breast cancer to the same
extent. And more than three alcoholic drinks a day raised breast
cancer risk by 30 per cent, compared to women who had less than one
drink a day. Dr. Arthur Klatsky, of the Kaiser Permanente Medical
Care Program in Oakland, California, was the lead researcher. The
results found that:
--there was no difference in breast cancer risk between wine, beer, and spirit consumption
--even between red and white wine, the impact was the same
--women who had between one and two drinks a day had a 10 percent higher breast cancer risk compared to those who had one drink a day
--the risk went up to 30 per cent for women who had more than three drinks a day
--the result was the same for all age and ethic groups.
70,033 women of different ethic origin who underwent health exams
during the period 1978 to 1985 and look at the breast cancer
incidence in the cohort in subsequent years. They found that 2,829 of
the women had been diagnosed with breast cancer by 2004.
Parks, Kathleen A.; Romosz, Ann M.; Bradizza, Clara M.; Hsieh,
Ya-Ping; "A dangerous transition: women's drinking and related
victimization from high school to the first year at college", JOURNAL
OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS (2008), 68: 65-74. The current
study assessed women's risk for victimization during the first year
at college, bade on changes in drinking during the transition from
high school to college. We were specifically interested in
differential risk for victimization based on women's change in
drinking status over the transition to college. We compared continued
abstainers with women who began drinking ("new" drinkers) and women
who continued drinking but either decreased, increased or did not
change their level of weekly drinking. Conclusions: In comparison
with abstainers, having a history of physical victimization, greater
psychological symptoms, and being a "new" drinker increased the the
odds of physical victimization, whereas having a greater number of
current psychological symptoms, sexual partners, and increasing
weekly drinking increased the odds of sexual victimization during the
first year at college.
Parks, Kathleen, A., Fals-Stewart, William; "The Temporal
relationship between college women's alcohol consumption and
victimization experiences". ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL
RESEARCH (2004); 28 (4): 625-629. College women have a much greater
chance of experiencing victimization &endash; both sexual and
nonsexual &endash; on the days they drink. Researchers found the odds
of experiencing sexual aggression were nine times higher on heavy
days and three times higher on nonheavy days of alcohol consumption
compared with days of no alcohol consumption. The odds of
experiencing sexual aggression were nine times higher on heavy
drinking days and three times higher on nonheavy days of alcohol
consumption compared with days of no alcohol consumption. What we
found was that the risk for experiencing victimization dramatically
increased with the consumption of alcohol above the risk that exists
when alcohol is not consumed. ". . . .the perpetrator has a choice,
they don't have to attack or assault."
Perry, Bridget L.; Miles, Donna; Burruss, Karen; Svikis, Dace S.;
"Premenstrual symptomatology and alcohol consumption in college
women." JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2004), 68: 464-468. Results
revealed that PMS significantly predicted annual weekday alcohol
consumption, but did not predict annual weekend alcohol consumption.
The conclusions suggests the relationship between PMS and alcohol
consumption exists to nonclinical samples of college women who are
relatively early in their drinking careers before the development of
sever alcohol related problems. Thus, premenstrual symptomatology may
be an important risk factor for alcohol consumption among college
women. Education on the relationship between PMS and the risk for
alcohol misuses may provide beneficial information for both alcohol
prevention and interventions efforts on college campuses and may be
beneficial in identifying women at risk for heavy alcohol consumption
and alcohol problems." (N=193 women.)
Pfefferbaum, Adolph; Rosenbloom, Margaret; Deshmukh, Anjali;
Sullivan, Edith V.; "Sex differences in the effects of alcohol on
brain structure," AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY (2001): 158:
188-197. (Conclusion: Alcoholic men and women show different brain
morphological deficits, relative to same-sex comparison subjects.
However, age and alcoholism interact in both sexes, which puts all
older alcoholics at particular risk for the negative sequelae of
Philip, Margaret, "New test can reveal a baby's alcohol exposure," globalandmail.com., November 5, 2002, page 3. Doctors at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children have invented a test on the tar-like first bowel movements of newborns for chemical clues that their mothers drank alcohol in pregnancy, a breakthrough in the detective work of diagnosing fetal alcohol syndrome.
Racer, Paul, "Just two drinks a day could kill brain cells in
unborn baby," Chicago Sun-Times, February 15, 2004. "Just two
cocktails consumed by a pregnant woman might be enough to kill some
of the developing brain cells in the unborn child, leading to
neurological problems that can haunt a person for a lifetime, new
studies suggest. Dr. John W. Olney, a brain researcher at Washington
University in St. Louis, said his studies show that alcohol can cause
nerve cells in the developing brain to commit suicide. And, based on
animal studies, it doesn't take much alcohol to have this effect,
Olney reported Friday at the national meeting of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. Two cocktails, in most
women, are enough to elevate alcohol levels in the blood to 0.07
percent, he said. The animal studies show that in unborn mice, this
concentration is enough to kill developing brain cells. ''That amount
of alcohol would cause a state of intoxication just under the legal
limit, which is 0.08 percent in most states,'' he said."
Reinan, John, "Here's not to your health,"
HEALTHSCOUTNEWSREPORTER, Friday, May 10, 2002.
"And because of cultural changes that have made it more acceptable for women to drink, they are closing the alcoholism gam with men. "Over the last century, the rate of alcoholism has been 4-to-1 or 5-to-1, male to female," Morse says. "But in the baby boomer generation, it's now closer to 2-to-1. Women are gaining in this area, unfortunately."
Rice, J. P.; Neuman, R. J.; Saccone, N. L.; Corbett, J.; Rochberg, N.; Hasselbrock, V.; Bucholz, K. K.; McGuffin, P.; "Age and birth cohort effects on rates of alcohol dependence", ALCOHOLISM CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2003), 27 (1): 93-9. In the sample, they observed higher rates of alcoholism in more recently born individuals; analysis of family history information indicated a higher rate of alcoholism in relatives who were deceased; and co-morbid diagnoses of antisocial personality or depression, as well as cigarette smoking were predictors of risk. The family history indicates that alcoholics may die younger, so that a bias is introduced when only living individual are surveyed.
For example, Rice said, "the rate of alcoholism in female
relatives born between 1950 and 1959, as well as those born between
1960 and 1979, was about 30%, compared to 4.5% in female relatives
born before 1929. In the controls, the rate was 13% in recently born
women, compared to 2.3% in women born during the 1930's. These are
dramatic differences. A similar effect is seen in men, but not as
Roan, Shari; "Threat behind the party-girl image", LOS ANGELES
TIMES (2006), May 8, P. F4. Concerns the rising numbers of female
binge drinkers and why they binge drink.
Schuck, Amie, M.; Widom, Cathy Spatz; "Childhood victimization and
alcohol symptoms in women: an examination of protective factors",
JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2003), 64: 247-256. Studies have
documented a relationship between childhood victimization and alcohol
problems in women. Conclusions: Interventions to improve educational
achievement and to increase feelings of self-efficacy (possibly
through empowerment programs) may be effective in reducing alcohol
problems in women abused and neglected as children.
Slutske, Wendy S.; Piasecki, Thomas M.; Hunt-Carter, Erin E.;
"Development and initial validation of the Hangover Symptoms Scale:
prevalence and correlates of hangover symptoms in college students",
ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2003), 27 (9):
1442-1450. 1230 currently drinking college students (62% women, 91%
Caucasian) were administered a self-report inventory in which they
reported the frequency of occurrence of 13 different hangover
symptoms during the past 12 months. Participants also reported their
history of alcohol involvement, alcohol-related problems, and family
history of alcohol-related problems. On average the participants
experienced 5 out of 13 different hangover symptoms in the past year;
the three most common symptoms on the HSS were feeling extremely
thirsty/dehydrated, feeling more tired than usual, and headache.
Higher scores on the HSS were positively associated with the
frequency of drinking and getting drunk and the typical quantity of
alcohol consumed when drinking, a personal history of alcohol-related
problems, and a family history of alcohol-related problems. After
controlling for sex differences in alcohol involvement, women had
higher scores on the HSS than men. Students had been hung over
between three and eleven times. Students who had reported having
alcohol-related problems or who had one or both biological parents
with a history of alcohol-related problems had more hangovers.
Sorensen, H. J.; Manzardo, A. M.; Knop, J.; Penick, E. C.; Madarasz, W.; Nickel, E. J.; Becker, U.; Mortensen, E. L.; "The contribution of parental alcohol use disorders and other psychiatric illness to the risk of alcohol use disorders in the offspring", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2011), 35 (7):1315-1320. This study involved 7177 Danish parents born in Copenhagen between October 1959 and December 1961. This Danish study is one of the first longitudinal population studies conducted over multiple generations. The study found that the link between parental alcoholism and alcohol use disorders among offspring exists independent of other factors including generations, parental social status and parental psychiatric hospitalization for other diagnoses. Parental AUD (alcohol use disorders) was associated with an increased risk of offspring AUD independent of other significant predictors, such as gender, parental social status, and parental psychiatric hospitalization with other diagnoses. Furthermore, this association appeared to be stronger among female than male offspring. The results suggest that inherited factors related to alcoholism are at least as important in determining the risk of alcoholism among daughters as among sons.
Spear, Norman E.; Molina, Juan C., "Fetal or infantile exposure to
ethanol promotes ethanol ingestion in adolescence and adulthood: a
theoretical review", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH
(2005), 29 (6): 909-929. Ethanol has rewarding consequences for the
fetus or young infant is supported by recent evidence with perinatal
rats. Several studies have shown that such early exposure to ethanol
may in some circumstances make the infant treat ethanol-realated
events as averse, and yet enhanced intake of ethanol in adolescence
is nevertheless a consequence. Alternative interpretations of this
paradox are considered among the varied circumstances of early
ethanol exposure that lead to increased affinity for ethanol.
Stockwell, Tim, McLeod, Roberta, Stevens, Margaret, et al.;
"Alcohol consumption, setting, gender and activity as predictors of
injury: a population-based case-control study," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON
ALCOHOL (2002), 63: 372-379. The data confirm earlier findings that
risk of injury for women fro a given level of consumption is greater
than for men. They extend earlier findings by identifying significant
setting, activity and drug use variables predictive of injury. In
addition, when these latter variables are controlled, it is found
that for women, but not for men, the risk of injury is significantly
elevated and even at lower levels of alcohol intake.
Tapert, Susan F.; Brown, Gregory, G.; Kindermann, Sandra S.; Cheung, Erick H.; Frank, Lawrence R.; Brown, Sandra A.; "fMRI Measurement of brain dysfunction in alcohol-dependent young women", ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2001), 25(2):236-245, February 2001,
"Alcohol-dependent women demonstrated significantly less blood oxygen level-dependent response than controls during the spatial working memory task in the right superior and inferior parietal, right middle frontal, right postcentral, and left superior frontal cortex, after controlling for the baseline vigilance response.
"Working memory produces a larger neuronal response in some cortical regions than vigilance. Alcohol-dependent women showed less differential response to working memory than controls in frontal and parietal regions, especially in the right hemisphere. Heavy, chronic drinking appears to produce adverse neural effects that are detectable by functional magnetic resonance imaging."
Thomasson, H., "Alcohol elimination: faster in women?" ALCOHOLISM:
CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2000), 24 (4): 419-240. (The
author describes his study examining gender differences in ethanol
elimination rates in 45 male and 45 female subjects with identical
ADH2 and ALDH2 genotypes and with control of as many relevant
environmental factors as possible. The ethanol elimination rate was
significantly higher in women than in men, but how this related to
women's greater vulnerability to ethanol toxicity is a mystery.)
Thomasson, H.' "alcohol elimination: faster in women?"; ALCOHOLISM:
CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2000), 24 (4): 419-420.
11.(References) This is one of a series of short papers that were
presented at a workshop on issues relevant to the absorption,
distribution, and elimination of alcohol in non-alcoholics. The
meeting was convened by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism. This article is not peer reviewed.
U. S. Surgeon General Releases Advisory on Alcohol Use in Pregnancy, "Urges women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant to abstain from alcohol". U. S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona today warned pregnant women and women who may become pregnant to abstain from alcohol consumption in order to eliminate the chance of giving birth to a baby with any of the harmful effects of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD. This updates a 1981 Surgeon General's Advisory that suggested that pregnant women limit the amount of alcohol they drink. "We must prevent all injury and illness that is preventable in society, and alcohol-related birth defects are completely preventable," Dr. Richard H. Carmona said.
Watkins, R. L.; Adler, E. V.; "The Effect of food on alcohol
absorption and elimination patterns," JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES
(1993), 38 (2), 285-291. (6 men, 3 women, breath alcohol and fasted
and non fasted.)
Watson, Patricia E.; Watson, Ian D.; Batt, Richard D.; "Prediction
of blood alcohol concentrations in human subjects: updating the
Widmark equation," JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (1981), 42 (7):
547-556. Men and women were tested.
Watson, Patricia E.; "Total body water and blood alcohol levels:
updating the fundaments," In: K. E. Crow, R. D. Batt (Eds.); Human
metabolism of alcohol, volume I: Pharmacokinetics, medicolegal
aspects and general interest; CRC Press (1989), 214p. Both men and
women were tested
White, Helen Raskin, Chen, Ping-Hsin; "Problem drinking and
intimate partner violence", JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL (2002) 63:
205-214. "Results. With controls, problem drinking significantly
predicated perpetration and victimization for men and women. Partner
drinking was not related to perpetration or victimization for men.
For women, partner drinking was strongly related to perpetration and
victimization. It fully mediated the effects of problem drinking on
perpetration, but did not mediate these effects on victimization.
Relationship dissatisfaction fully mediated the effects of problem
drinking on male and female perpetration and partially mediated the
effects of problem drinking on female victimization. Conclusions: The
relationship between problem drinking and IPV was not spurious for
men or women. Heavier drinking by partners put women at greater risk
for perpetration and victimization and mediated the effects of their
own problem drinking on perpetration. Programs that prevent and treat
problem drinking among young men should have a beneficial impact on
"Women and Alcohol: An Update", Volume 26, Number 4, 2002, ALCOHOL
HEALTH AND RESEARCH WORLD
"Women drinkers at greater heart disease risk," About.com, January 29, 2004. A study by the University College London found that women who drank more than the recommended safe limit increased their risk of coronary hear disease by 57 percent. Overall death rates were seven times higher among women who drank two or more drinks per day than in those who drank less than three drinks a wee, the study found. Women have lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol and in combination with a smaller stature and lower body water content, means that women get drunk faster and stay drunk longer which increases the health risks associated with alcohol.
York, James L.; Welte, John, Hirsch, Judith; Hoffman, Joseph H.; Barnes, Grace; "Association of age of first drink with current alcohol drinking variables in a national general population sample". ALCOHOLISM: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH (2004), 28 (9): 1379-1387. Conclusions: Age of first drink may be a useful predictive variable for some current drinking measures, including predicted peek blood alcohol levels as well as lifetime alcohol pathology. Further support was provided for the "convergence" hypothesis that the drinking habits of women have become more like those of men.
Zawacki, Tina; Norris, Jeanette; George William H.; Abbey, Antonia; Martell, Joel; Stoner, Susan A.; Davis, Kelly Cue; Buck, Philip O.; Masters, N. Tatiana, McAuslan, Pamela; Beshears, Renee; Parkhill, Michele R.; Clinton-Sherrod, A. Monique; "Explicating alcohol's role in acquaintance sexual assault: complementary perspectives an convergent findings", ALCOHOLISM AND CLINICAL EXPERIENCES IN RESEARCH (2005), 29 (2): 263-269. This article summarizes the proceedings of a symposium presented at the 2004 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Jeanette Norris, found that alcohol consumption and preexisting alcohol expectancies affect women's hypothetical response to a vignette depicting acquaintance sexual aggression. The Norris experiment showed (1) that acute intoxication causes women to respond cognitively and behaviorally to a potential assault in ways that increase the likelihood of being victimized and (2) that this effect is moderated by women's preexisting alcohol expectancies.
Joel Martell, reported that alcohol-induced impairment of executive cognitive functioning mediated the effect of intoxication on men's perceptions of a sexual assault vignette. Antonia Abbey found that the experiences of women whose sexual assault involved intoxication or force were more negative than were the experiences of women's whose sexual assault involved verbal coercion. Martell's Study showed not only that intoxication increases men's self-reported likelihood of committing rape but also that this effect is partially mediated by the alcohol's impairment of executive cognitive functioning capacity.
Tina Zawacki, reported that men who perpetrated sexual assault only in adolescence differed from men who continued perpetration into adulthood in terms of their drinking patterns and attitudes toward women. Zawacki's survey substantiated that unacknowledged perpetrators lurk among normative young adult populations and demonstrated that there are developmental trajectories for their perpetration that involve different patters of alcohol consumption. For instance, young men may drink and encourage a woman's drinking on the basis of alcohol expectancies that subsequently steer attention myopically toward the rape-prone foci as intoxication rises, ensnaring both people in an unfortunate trajectory.