REUTERS/David W Cerny
A new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that over the last two decades women have been dying more frequently because of alcohol-related issues.
Alcohol-related deaths increased among women by 85%. In other words, 7,662 women died in 1999 because of alcohol, compared to 18,072 women in 2017.
Alcohol tends to harm women more, causing heart disease and cancers.
Women's drinking habits have changed dramatically over the last two decades, and it has some experts worried.
When the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism examined the death certificates of people who died from alcohol-related issues between 1999 and 2017, the organization found that women are dying more frequently today than in the past.
In fact, alcohol-related deaths increased 51% over time, but for women, it rose, 85%. In other words, 7,662 women died in 1999 because of alcohol, compared to 18,072 women in 2017.
Experts said there is no direct evidence as to why the numbers for women have risen so dramatically. But Aaron White, a senior scientific adviser to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said alcohol does harm women more than it harms men, leading to cancers and heart disease.
The study also found that the deaths were more frequent among white, middle-aged women.
"With the increases in alcohol use among women, there have been increases in harms for women including ER visits, hospitalization, and deaths," White told NPR.
Over the last two decades, the rate of binge drinking and the frequency of drinking among men did not change, but the same cannot be said for women. For women, the frequency of drinking increased by 10.1% and the rate of binge drinking rose 23.3%.
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