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Study shows alcohol-related mortality rates are rising faster in women

Data considered how cultural perceptions and pressures for women around alcohol use have changed dramatically throughout the last couple of decades.
Posted at 9:05 PM, Nov 11, 2023

A study on alcohol consumption and risks now says researchers found what many may find to be a surprising statistic. 

The study looked at CDC data between 1999 and 2020, and the data found that alcohol-related mortality among women is rising faster than it is with men. 

According to a 2016 analysis of data from the World Health Organization, the U.S. is ranked among the top countries in the world with the smallest gender gaps in alcohol consumption. 

Alcohol consumption has been slowly rising among U.S. adults, and it could be correlated with rising alcohol-related illnesses. 

Alcohol-related mortality may include death from heart disease, liver disease, cancer, and mental and behavioral disorders, among other factors. Alcohol can also carry a higher risk for women because it is known to affect their bodies differently. 

Cultural perceptions and pressures for women around alcohol use have changed dramatically throughout the last couple of decades. The early 2000's saw a sudden rise in heavy episodic drinking, also known as "binge" drinking, for women. 

Stigmas against women and drinking shrank as alcohol became more readily accessible, and by the 2010s, more advertisers began to target women specifically. 

The proliferation of cheeky slogans like "rosé all day" or the "wine mom" image created an upper-middle-class and more middle-aged association with alcohol. Women using alcohol to take off the stress of motherhood or home life became commonplace in internet memes, starting with Food Network host Sandra Lee's infamous "two shots ofvodka" moment, when she poured way more than two shots into the cocktail.

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There is some data to correlate with the tongue-in-cheek stereotype, particularly from the pandemic. Studies have shown an increase in alcohol consumption for women at the height of the pandemic.

Women were more likely to be laid off and more likely to be responsible for childcare with schools closed.

Alcohol-related deaths had risen by 26% from 2019 to 2020, according to a report published last year by the CDC.

The increase was sharper among women ages 35 to 44, going up by 42%.