PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s a known fact that men throughout the world drink more than women, but a new study shows American women are catching up to their male counterparts when it comes to drinking alcohol.
The study by the National Institutes of Health indicates longstanding differences between men and women in alcohol consumption are narrowing.
“This study confirms what other recent reports have suggested about changing patterns of alcohol use by men and women in the U.S.,” NIAAA Director George F. Koob said in a release.
Dr. Koob and his colleagues found the percentage of people who drank alcohol in the last 30 days increased for women from 44.9% to 48.3% between 2002-2012. That number decreased for men, dropping from 57.4% to 56.1%.
The number of drinking days in a month also increased for women, from 6.8 to 7.3 days. It decreased slightly for men, from 9.9 to 9.5 days.
“Males still consume more alcohol, but the differences between men and women are diminishing,” Dr. Aaron White said.
The evidence is particularly concerning, according to Dr. Koob, because women have a greater risk for alcohol-related health effects like liver inflammation, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and cancer.
More studies will be conducted to assess societal and environmental contributors.