Navigation Links
Alcoholism Gender Gap Is Closing
Date:5/6/2008

Changing social mores, opportunities for women make it not just a 'man's disease' anymore

TUESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking and alcohol dependence has increased substantially among women, particularly white and Hispanic women born since 1945, new study finds.

Alcohol use and dependency appeared to remain stable for men, while young Americans report having more lifetime alcohol problems than older Americans, despite having had less time to develop issues with drinking.

The findings were published in the May issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

"We found that for women born after World War II, there are lower levels of abstaining from alcohol, and higher levels of alcohol dependence, even when looking only at women who drank," the study's corresponding author, Richard A. Grucza, an epidemiologist at Washington University School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement. "However, we didn't see any significant tendency for more recently born men to have lower levels of abstention or higher levels of alcohol dependence."

The researchers' findings came from analyzing two large, national surveys conducted 10 years apart (1991-1992 and 2001-2002). The polls compared lifetime alcohol-use rates from the same age groups and demographics.

The "closing gender-gap in alcoholism" may be due to higher levels of problems facing women, while men have been more or less steady in their levels of dependence, he said.

"Clearly, there were many changes in the cultural environment for women born in the '40s, '50s and '60s compared to women born earlier," Grucza said. "Women entered the work force, were more likely to go to college, were less hampered by gender stereotypes, and had more purchasing power. They were freer to engage in a range of behaviors that were culturally or practically off-limits, and these behaviors probably would have included excessive drinking and alcohol problems."

Shelly F. Greenfield, associate clinical director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program at McLean Hospital, added to Grucza's assessment.

"One possible explanation is that between 1934 and 1964, the social acceptability of women's drinking increased. As it was more socially acceptable for women to drink, a greater number of them became drinkers. Because women have a heightened vulnerability to the effects of alcohol -- that is, greater blood alcohol levels at similar doses of alcohol -- we may therefore see a concomitant rise in alcohol dependence among those who ever drank."

Another potential factor: immigrants arriving to America from cultures with more conservative values about drinking tend to stick with their native cultural norms, but their children are more likely to follow comparatively lax U.S. norms regarding alcohol.

"We can think of U.S. culture as having been traditionally dominated by white men," added Grucza. "As women have immigrated into this culture, they have become acculturated with regard to alcohol use."

He said the added barrier of race may be what is keeping black women, who still have the lowest rates of drinking among the demographic groups looked at, from adopting the alcohol-use standards of the dominant U.S. culture.

Greenfield suggested that targeting females with gender-specific prevention programs might lower drinking rates or delay when drinking begins, which could help prevent later alcohol problems.

"It would also be helpful to educate women about the gender differences in metabolism of alcohol, and the associated heightened female vulnerability to alcohol's adverse health consequences at lower doses than men," she said.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about recognizing a drinking problem.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCES: Washington University School of Medicine/Harvard Medical School, news release, May 4, 2008


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Brain DNA remodeled in alcoholism
2. Genetics May Boost Mexican-Americans Risk for Alcoholism
3. Fetal Alcohol Exposure May Prime Offspring for Alcoholism
4. Epilepsy Drug Holds Promise as Treatment for Alcoholism
5. Family history of alcoholism affects response to drug used to treat heavy drinking
6. Alzheimers Disease Risk Factors May Be Gender-Specific
7. Growth Hormone is Used to Treat Twice as Many Short Boys Than Girls in the U.S. and Asia; Gender Difference is Smaller in the Rest of the World
8. USC study finds evidence of gender-related differences in development of colon cancer
9. Study finds that discrimination varies by gender and race
10. Counselors should target discrimination and be advocates for transgender clients
11. The Gender Divide Starts Over Dinner
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco dentists, Dr. ... Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated to suffer ... Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of people with ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ... announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major ... to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s ... the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. ... Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy ... Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares best practices in ... , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN members by sharing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading global digital ... its MyDario product is expected to appear on The Dr. Oz Show ... Oz Show airs in your area: http://www.doctoroz.com/page/where-watch-dr-oz-show ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz Show kicked off ... The segment features ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in ... immune-engineering today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology ... personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 ... to enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy ... EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... Sept. 22, 2017  As the latest Obamacare repeal ... Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham ... the medical device industry is in an odd place. ... the 2.3% excise tax on medical device sales passed ... want covered patients, increased visits and hospital customers with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: