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Alcohol effects women more than men

Women are more vulnerable to alcohol related risks then men, says Professor and Chief National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS Rajat Ray, reports Satyen Mohapatra.

delhi Updated: Jan 29, 2009 20:09 IST
Satyen Mohapatra

Women are more vulnerable to alcohol related risks then men, says Professor and Chief National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS Rajat Ray.

Sudies carried out in India by a group of researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience Bangalore has confirmed findings that several health and psychosocial adverse consequences are seen among women drinkers, he added.

Indian medical specialists should now concentrate on adverse consequences of drinking among Indian women because of increasing trend of drinking among women and paucity of data on these parameters,” he said.

According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism part of the National Institute of Health,US, women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently than men.

In general,women have less body water than men of similar body weight so that women achieve higher concentrations of alcohol in blood after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol.

Many studies have shown that moderate to heavy alcohol consumption increases risk of breast cancer, Dr Ray said.

Views of the brain obtained by Magnetic Resonance Imaging suggests that women may be more vulnerable than men to alcohol induced brain damage. The brain region involved in co ordinating multiple brain functions was significantly smaller among alcoholic women compared to both non alcoholic women and alcoholic men, he added.

Once a woman is addicted to alcohol pregnancy can be very unsafe particularly for the unborn child resulting in foetal alcohol syndrome which can lead the child to have several congenital defects like low birth weight,small head size resulting in low level of intelligence and defects of multiple organs including heart,he added.

Studies have also shown that women are also more prone to liver and heart damage than male alcoholics.

A study by National Institute of Enviornmental Health

Sciences of National Institutes of Health last year showed that pregnant women who drink early in their pregnancy increase the likelihood that their babies will be born with clefts lips.

The WHO at its meetings has also expressed concern over the issue of increasing trend of alcohol consumption among women.

It has said hat women are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol because of their smaller physical build compared to men.

Women traditionally play a major role in home making which can be adversely affected if the women is addicted to alcohol,it has said.