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:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... Emmanuel College is introducing enhancements ... their careers. Beginning in the fall of 2017, Emmanuel’s program will allow registered nurses ... as 16 months and for as little as $14,528. These changes will enable nurses ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... , ... April 24, 2017 , ... Michael Vick announced ... transforming the quarterback position. The former overall number one pick in the 2001 NFL ... career. He holds the record for the most career rushing yards by a quarterback ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... Ridgecrest Herbals makes it a ... new strategies to reduce waste, and support renewable energy. They believe this is a ... nature to find solutions for health issues, and maintain that destroying the environment in ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... Boulder, CO (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 ... ... 2017 American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award. The ... the public, including education communities. It recognizes a scholar who has demonstrated the ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... ... Bright Pink , a national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of ... is proud to announce Katie Thiede as their new Chief Executive Officer. In January, founder ... of the Board and launched a national search to find a visionary new leader to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... DIEGO , April 19, 2017  Sorrento ... an antibody-centric, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments ... announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... stock at a public offering price of $2.00 ... and estimated offering expenses payable by Sorrento.  The ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017  SARES•REGIS Group leased the first ... at Conejo Spectrum Business Park in ... Biotherapeutics, Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company developing meaningful ... that have been underserved by scientific innovation, with ... cancer, autoimmune and infectious disease. Before ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. ... market to grow at a CAGR of 6.35% during the period ... has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: