New research discloses that deaths linked with excessive alcohol use have been spiraling in American women.
As per the findings published on July 28 in JAMA Network Open, women are dying from alcohol-related causes at a quicker rate than males, even though drinking still kills more men than women.
The lead author, Ibraheem Karaye of Hofstra University, says the gender gap is narrowing.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is defined by a reduced capacity to reduce or regulate alcohol use in the face of adverse social, professional, or health effects. It is a spectrum disorder that can be mild, moderate, or severe. People with AUD are more likely to relapse because AUD permanently alters the brain.
According to the findings, males had a much more significant alcohol-related mortality burden than females in the cross-sectional analysis of 605,948 alcohol-attributed fatalities, with a male-to-female ratio of 2.88. Both sexes had a rise in alcohol-related mortality over time, with females seeing a much greater rate of increase than males.
Based on earlier research, women consume more alcohol overall, and binge drinking is becoming more prevalent. This may help partially explain why more women are developing issues like cirrhosis. Karaye and his colleagues discovered that women's alcohol-related death rates increased by 14.7% compared to men's rates, which increased by 12.5%, after analyzing data from the CDC spanning 20 years.
Since the turn of the century, women's drinking has steadily increased and has moved closer to that of males. Women can't metabolize alcohol as quickly as males do for various reasons, so they retain more of the poisonous drug for longer.
Karaye says that women had fewer quantities of the enzyme needed to digest alcohol, alcohol dehydrogenase, leaving them with more significant levels of a chemical poisonous to the liver. Additionally, women have less body water than males do, which causes the alcohol in their systems to become more concentrated.
To inform evidence-based interventions aimed at reducing the risks of alcohol-related mortality for all people, additional research is required. A particular focus should be placed on developing targeted treatments to address alcohol use among female individuals.
- JAMA Network Open. Trends in Alcohol-Related Deaths by Sex in the US, 1999-2020.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Women and Alcohol.