Female Alcoholics Have More Physical, Mental Problems than Men

A new study shows that women alcoholics suffer more physical, mental and social problems than male alcoholics, the Associated Press reported March 26.

The 18-month study by researchers at the University of Michigan and Washington University looked at 444 people from St. Louis, Mo., who had been diagnosed as alcoholics.

The study found that 52 percent of female alcoholics reported disruption of regular activities because of physical health problems, compared with 23 percent of men. In addition, 66 percent of women drinkers said that physical or emotional problems interfered with normal social activity, compared with 27 percent of men. The study also showed that 28 percent of women alcoholics said they reduced time on regular activities because of emotional problems, compared with 7 percent of men.

"The women alcoholics were much more likely to report having depression, and having depression that interfered with their daily lives," said Kyle L. Grazier, a professor at the Michigan School of Public Health who co-authored the study with Kathleen Bucholz of Washington University.

Dr. Barbara Dickie, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, theorized that the difference between men’s bodies and women’s bodies is connected to the way they react differently to alcoholism.

"When you talk about having too much to drink, it has to do with body weight and metabolism. Women metabolize alcohol differently," Dickie said.

The study also revealed similarities between both sexes. According to Grazier, both men and women alcoholics were just as likely to stay in bed all day because of the addiction. They also were just as likely to seek and receive treatment.

The study was slated to be presented during the March 27-31 First World Congress on Women and Mental Health in Berlin.

From Join Together Online

The Female Alcoholic


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