Battle of the Sexes: Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Have you ever noticed how a man and a woman can drink the exact same amount of alcohol, but yet the woman always seems drunker, faster? Or have you ever wondered why the bar has infinitely more men seated and drinking, than women? Recent research provides all these answers and more.

Some quick facts: alcoholism is more than twice more common among men than women. Because of this, men run a higher risk of developing a dependency on alcohol, compared to women. However, men are much more capable of tolerating large amounts of alcohol than women.

A male heavy drinker for 20-30 years may only have moderate problems, while a female drinker for only five years can easily show moderate to severe problems. Consequently, women alcoholics have shockingly higher death rates, specifically 50-100 percent higher than their male counterparts. As a result, alcoholic women have a higher chance of developing cirrhosis, hepatitis, cancer, hypertension, anemia, malnutrition, depression, and sleeping problems.

This occurs because men and women metabolize alcohol differently. Women absorb up to nearly 30% more alcohol into their bloodstream than men. Because women have less body mass and less water content in their bodies, women have higher concentrations of alcohol in their blood stream after drinking. Body water diffuses alcohol content as it is digested, but since women have significantly less of it than men, women become more impaired when drinking. Their brain and other organs also have more exposure to the alcohol, thus leading to more damage.

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