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Alcohol and Womens Health

April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

Studies have shown that women suffer negative effects from alcohol quicker than men.  As soon as alcohol enters the body, women metabolize alcohol in a way that leads to faster intoxication with fewer drinks than men.  If a woman has a problem with alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence the risk is high that she will experience serious health problems early in life.

The female stomach does not metabolize as much alcohol as the male stomach.  Women also have less water weight, so alcohol quickly concentrates in the blood.  The alcohol travels with the blood to every part of the body, affecting literally every cell.  Not only does this harm vital organs faster, but it also speeds up the development of alcohol dependence.  This is why women also find their way into alcohol detox and treatment quicker than men.  

Recent studies are supporting evidence that alcohol increases cancer risk among women.  Scientists are giving this a closer look, and taking the results very seriously.  So much so that researchers are starting to ask if there is a safe, daily amount of alcohol for women.

The following set of facts about alcohol and women’s health comes from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  

-- Begin external content --
  • Women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently than men.
  • Alcohol consumption is associated with a linear increase in breast cancer incidence in women over the range of consumption reported by most women. A pooled analysis of several studies found breast cancer risk was significantly elevated by 9% for each 10-grams per day increase in alcohol intake for intakes up to 60 grams per day.
  • Although the mean lifetime dose of alcohol in female alcoholics is only 60% of that in male alcoholics, one study noted that cardiomyopathy (a degenerative disease of the heart muscle) and myopathy (a degenerative disease of skeletal muscle) was as common in female alcoholics as in males. The study concluded that women are more susceptible than men to the toxic effects of alcohol on the heart muscle.
  • Brain shrinkage in men and women was found to be similar despite significantly shorter periods of alcohol exposure or drinking histories in women.
  • Women with chronic pancreatitis have shorter drinking histories than that of men. Women with alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis were found to have consumed less alcohol per body weight per day than men. These findings indicate that women are more vulnerable to alcoholic liver disease than men.
  • Although alcohol problems are more common in male trauma patients, women with alcohol problems are just as severely impaired, have at least as many adverse consequences of alcohol use, and have more evidence of alcohol-related physical and psychological harm.
-- Source: http://www.cspinet.org/booze/women.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.



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