The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recently looked at data from annual surveys conducted between 2002 and 2012 and discovered that more women are drinking more often, while men are drinking less often.
Measures observed included the level of drinking, number of drinking days per month, alcohol use disorders, and driving under the influence of alcohol.
The research found that the percentage of people who drank alcohol in the previous 30 days increased for females from 44.9% to 48.3%, but decreased for males from 57.4% to 56.1%. They also found that the average number of drinking days in a month increased for females from 6.8 to 7.3 days and decreased for males from 9.9 to 9.5 days.
Reasons for the changes are “unclear and do not appear to be easily explained by recent trends in employment, pregnancy, or marital status,” researchers said, adding that “increasing alcohol use by females is particularly concerning given that women are at greater risk than men of a variety of alcohol-related health effects, including liver inflammation, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity, and cancer.”