Women alcoholics risk breast cancer, obesity and infertility
A recent report by The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a body that falls under the United States department of health and humanity services, revealed escalating data on the already high levels of alcoholism.
The study suggests a growing number of users among males compared to females. It is estimated that among the 15.1 million alcohol abusers, 4.6 million are women who also form
approximately a third of the population. Additionaly, the study revealed that women have fewer dependency and alcohol related problems than men.
According to the study though, women are adversely affected by alcohol far beyond the psychological level to impact on their physical bodies with extreme consequences. Drinking behavior in women differs depending on their age, life roles and marital status so that younger women (18-34) record higher rates of alcohol related problems than older women.
Alcohol dependency cases were prevalent among middle aged women of between 35- 40. It was also noticed that women who had engaging multiple roles of motherhood or matrimonial responsibilities had lesser incidences of alcoholism than those with lesser roles. Women who never got married and those who underwent separation drunk more heavily than those who were either in marriage or those who were widowed.
Drinking habits were directly related to the physical and emotional health of the women sampled. Research has linked alcoholism to problems such as obesity and depression, sleeping disorders and heart failure.
Most alcohol products have a high caloric value which leads to weight gain. According to Dr. Andrea Purcell of Harvard Women’s Health Watch, “When women get obese, they usually get very concerned about their physical appearance leaving them more emotionally devastated.”
Women who use alcohol to salvage themselves from stress potentially eat or drink more. Such women are also prone to incidences of victimization, sexual abuse or other acts of violence.
Women who drink have an increased risk of getting breast cancer, menstrual disorders like heavy flow, irregular or absent flow and can experience fertility problems. Thus alcohol consumption has an impact on the physical and emotional health of women.
Purcell, Andrea. (July, 2006). Alcohol and Women. Harvard Women’s Health Watch