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Women and Alcohol

Women are the fastest-growing segment of alcohol consumers in the United States, increasing the potential number of women who across their life span could develop negative health consequences related to alcohol consumption. This issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews examines the current literature on the screening, diagnosis, prevalence, risk factors, health consequences, and treatment for...

Alcohol and Liver Function in Women

Alcohol-related liver disease generally has been ascribed to men because men reportedly consume alcohol at an increased rate and quantity as compared to women. Recent literature has reported, however, that rates of liver disease attributed to alcohol use by women have increased, largely due, in part, to the increased number of women who consume alcohol regularly. This increase is a paramount...

Women and Alcohol - From the Editors

Recent epidemiological research has identified alarming trends in drinking patterns of girls and women in the United States. In recent years, the amount and frequency of alcohol use are increasing in White and Hispanic girls and young women in contrast to decreasing patterns of heavy alcohol use in boys and young men.1,2 Similarly, current and binge alcohol use is rising among older women,3,4 resu...

Sleep and Alcohol Use in Women

Sleep disturbance is common among individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Insomnia not only is a pathway toward alcohol consumption but also is related to increased risk of relapse, psychosocial impairment, decreased quality of life, and suicidal ideation in individuals with AUD. Few studies examining sleep disturbance and alcohol use have explored how this relationship differs between men...

Focus On: Women and the Costs of Alcohol Use

Even though the prevalence of alcohol use in the United States generally is lower among women compared with men (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA] 2011), this gap has narrowed (Grucza et al. 2008). Furthermore, although women consume alcohol at lower levels than men, their body composition puts them at higher risk than men of developing some alcohol-related...

Effects of Alcohol on the Cardiovascular System in Women

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality for women. This review summarizes the relationship between alcohol consumption and common CVDs in women and highlights potential differences from men. Except for risk of hypertension, no sex-related effects of alcohol consumption on the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke have been reported, and data on the sex...

Alcohol’s Effects on Breast Cancer in Women

Globally, more than 2 million new cases of breast cancer are reported annually. The United States alone has more than 496,000 new cases every year. The worldwide prevalence is approximately 6.8 million cases. Although many risk factors for breast cancer are not modifiable, understanding the role of the factors that can be altered is critical. Alcohol consumption is a modifiable factor. Studies of...

Treatment Interventions for Women With Alcohol Use Disorder

Women with alcohol use disorder (AUD) experience more barriers to AUD treatment and are less likely to access treatment than men with AUD. A literature review identified several barriers to women seeking help: low perception of a need for treatment; guilt and shame; co-occurring disorders; employment, economic, and health insurance disparities; childcare responsibilities; and fear of child...

Alcohol-Related Disparities Among Women: Evidence and Potential Explanations

Although research on alcohol-related disparities among women is a highly understudied area, evidence shows that racial/ethnic minority women, sexual minority women, and women of low socioeconomic status (based on education, income, or residence in disadvantaged neighborhoods) are more likely to experience alcohol-related problems. These problems include alcohol use disorder, particularly after...