Nothing good comes out of drinking too much. A study shows that women are at higher risk of injury compared to men after a night of drinking.
Published in the journal Addiction, the study gathered data from more than 13,000 patients who made trips to emergency rooms across 18 countries in the world. It showed that injury risk due to acute alcohol consumption is higher for women than men, although risk levels are the same for both genders when alcohol consumption is limited to three standard drinks.
When alcohol consumption rises to 15 drinks, women's risk dramatically rose to twice as that of men. When about 30 drinks have been consumed, the risk for women jumped to three times more than the risk for men.
One standard drink translates to less than 350ml of 5 percent ABV beer, a 44ml glass of 80-proof spirit, or 150ml of 12 percent ABV wine, each of which has about 18ml of pure ethanol. A 750ml bottle of 12 percent wine is equivalent to 5.6 standard drinks. All drinks were consumed within six hours of receiving the injury, which prompted an emergency room visit.
"There is an increasing risk relationship between alcohol and injury, but risk is not uniform across gender, cause of injury, or country drinking pattern," concluded the study.
Data for the study were taken from emergency room patients in Switzerland, Sweden, Panama, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Mexico, Korea, Ireland, India, Guyana, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, China, Canada, Brazil, Belarus and Argentina.
Aside from increased injury risk, alcohol consumption also affects women's health in general. For starters, risks of cirrhosis and other alcohol-related diseases of the liver are higher in women than in men.
When it comes to heart damage, women who drink, whether excessively or moderately, are also at higher risk compared to their male counterparts. As for cancers, drinking alcohol leads to increased risk of acquiring liver, colon, esophagus, throat and mouth cancers in women. At the same time, breast cancer risk is proportional to alcohol consumption, increasing as women spend more time in happy hour.
The study was led by Cheryl Cherpitel from the U.S. Public Health Institute's Alcohol Research Group. Other researchers include Maristela Monteiro, Guilherme Borges, Jason Bond, and Yu Ye. Funding support for the study was provided by the U.S. National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.