The latest Vital Signs report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), showed that 1 in 8 women and 1 in 5 high school girls report binge drinking, an activity defined as consuming four or more drinks on an occasion for women and girls.
Binge drinking was found to be most common among women aged 18-34 and high school girls, whites and Hispanics, and women with household incomes of $75,000 or more. Nearly 14 million women in the U.S. binge drink about three times a month, and consume an average of six drinks per binge.
“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,” Robert Brewer, M.D., M.S.P.H., of the Alcohol Program at CDC, said in a news release.
The report also highlights how binge drinking puts women at increased risk for many health problems such as breast cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, heart disease, and unintended pregnancy. Women who binge drink during pregnancy expose a developing baby to high levels of alcohol, which can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and sudden infant death syndrome.
But Brewer added that the problem can still be prevented by using “the same scientifically proven strategies for communities and clinical settings that we know can prevent binge drinking in the overall population.”