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Binge Drinking Problem Underestimated Among US Women

Update Date: Jan 09, 2013 04:42 AM EST

The NHS defines binge drinking as drinking heavily within a short period of time in order to get drunk or to feel the effects of alcohol.

During binge drinking, people tend to take large amounts of alcohol, but the exact amount of alcohol taken in order to define the session as binge drinking is not clearly defined.

The trend is getting more and more popular among teenagers but the problem is under-recognized for U.S. women, reports Medical Xpress. According to the report, a new study released Tuesday suggests that about 14 million women in the U.S. indulge in binge drinking about three times a month, taking in about six drinks each time.

Binge drinking is most commonly practiced among women aged between 18 and 34 and also among high school students, whites, Hispanics and women with household incomes of $75,000 or more, the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed.

According to the U.S. government institution, a drinking session can be defined as binge drinking when a woman/girl has four or more drinks on a given occasion.

In the study, apparently half of all the high school girls who drink alcohol had admitted to binge drinking. The problem of binge drinking is especially of concern since excessive drinking is responsible for about 23,000 deaths among women and girls in the United States each year, according to the report.

"Binge drinking causes many health problems, and there are proven ways to prevent excessive drinking," said CDC director Thomas Frieden.

The study also says that excessive drinking may also put women at risk of several health concerns such as breast cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and heart disease.

"Effective community measures can support women and girls in making wise choices about whether to drink or how much to drink if they do," Frieden said.

For the current study, the agency examined the drinking behavior of about 278,000 U.S. women aged 18 and above and more than 7,500 high school students for a span of 30 days in 2011.

"It is alarming to see that binge drinking is so common among women and girls, and that women and girls are drinking so much when they do," said Robert Brewer, who works on the alcohol program at the CDC.

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