University Study Finds a Narrowing of the Gender Gap in Alcohol Related Deaths

Previous research has shown that women are drinking more, engaging in more high-risk drinking, and increasingly developing alcohol-use disorders. But a new study, led by Ibraheem M. Karaye, an assistant professor of population health, and director of the health science program at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, finds a sharp rise in alcohol-related deaths among women.

The researchers examined 605 948 alcohol-attributed deaths over a 20-year period. Men had a significantly higher burden of alcohol-involved mortality than did female individuals, with a male-to-female ratio of 2.88. However, the data revealed an increase in alcohol-related deaths among both sexes, with a significantly higher rate of increase observed for women than for their male peers. From 2018 to 2020, there was a 14.7 percent increase in alcohol-related deaths among women compared to a 12.5 percent increase for men.

The authors conclude that “this study of alcohol-related mortality in the US suggests there has been a significantly higher rate of increase in deaths among female individuals in recent years. These findings underscore the need for further research to understand the specific factors associated with this trend. The development of targeted interventions and evidence-based treatments for alcohol use among female individuals becomes imperative in effectively addressing the increasing rates of alcohol-related deaths.”

The full study, “Trends in Alcohol-Related Deaths by Sex in the US, 1999-2020,” was published on the JAMA Open Network. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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