Truths And Myths About Women’s Alcoholism
1. Women and men are affected the same by alcohol.
Myth. Women usually are smaller in size than their male counterparts and contain less water in their bodies. Because of the different amounts of body fat and water, even if a woman is the same weight as a man, women become more impaired than men when drinking the same amount of alcohol. Women absorb more alcohol than men from the same drink and metabolize it more slowly.
2. Fewer women are alcoholics than men.
Truth. There are more than twice as many male alcoholics than female. While men are at higher risk than women of developing alcohol dependence, women suffer more significant health risks than men from alcohol.
3. Men and women suffer the same health risks from alcohol.
Myth. The onset of alcohol-related problems starts younger in women, and women are exposed to higher health risks from alcohol than men.
4. Women more easily develop cirrhosis of the liver from alcohol than men.
Truth. A man who drinks six drinks a day runs an equal risk of developing cirrhosis as a woman who has four drinks a day.
5. Alcohol does not increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.
Myth. Studies show a link between cancer and alcoholism. Nearly one in five alcohol-related deaths are caused by cancer. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, but alcohol can also increase the risk of several other types of cancer as well.
6. Alcohol consumption can prevent a woman from conceiving.
Truth. Both male and female fertility can be negatively impacted by consuming even small amounts of alcohol. Alcohol can also disrupt the menstrual cycle of a woman.
7. Alcoholism is not hereditary.
Myth. Alcoholism is a result of a combination of nurture and nature, with experts saying the cause is about fairly split between the two.