Increased death rates from alcohol in women

A study published last week in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found a concerning increase in the number of women in their 30’s and 40’s dying from alcohol-related conditions (in UK cities at least).

This is contrary to the general trend, which has shown no increase in deaths from alcohol for the population as a whole in the period studied (from 1980 to 2011).

Explanations vary for this unusual result for younger women, but many are blaming cultural factors for the acceptability of heavy drinking amongst women recently. Whatever the explanation, policy-makers should perhaps take note that action needs to be taken.

16 Comments

  1. Dean 8 June, 2015 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Hi, I’m form the UK and have in this past week lost my best friend, companion and soul mate to alcoholism – however, what has made the loss even worse is that neither me nor her mother knew that she was an alcoholic. She was drinking Vodka and his everything so well.

    I keep blaming myself for her death, which was due to liver failure, and keep asking if I should have known about her condition, why didn’t she talk to us and so many more questions. I’ve had no experience of dealing with alcoholism so this has come as a terrible shock

    We’ve found out that she was diagnosed with cirrhosis in 2013 – she kept saying she had a back back or her feet hurt but when we kept asking about what medical tests and such had shown, she simply replied’ Nothing’. Why did she hide her condition and lie about all she was going through.

    I keep believing that had I known about her condition.then I I could have helped her and she would have been the one person who could overcome her illness – but I’ve been told the reality is very different. I never knew how devastating alcoholism could be and how wide spread the illness actually is.

    I just wish I had answers to all the questions going around in my head

    • Anonymous 30 September, 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      I’m so sorry for your friends illness, but please don’t punish you’re self it wasn’t your fault,nor her poor mum. As an alcoholic myself I know of the guilt trips you have and why I so need to stop ✋ the shame it creates is the most loneliness you can ever feel in you’re whole life. But thank god. After so many phone calls I’ve made and I have found the right people who also have been there. I know I still have to get the right treatment for my illness ( Alcoholics) but I’ve took the first step today I have been to see professional’s. Your poor friend and you as her friend I am so sorry for your loss. And of course her and her/him and her family. XXX

  2. terry 15 March, 2015 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    this is terry karins story husband some one please repl to my story give me advise how to deal with what happened to Karin did I do her wrong

  3. terry 7 March, 2015 at 11:12 am - Reply

    my name is terry I fell in love with Kar she drank vodka when i met her, 19 months ago after 4 months we joined a realishionshp at her home, at that time she went to wine, she was great to be around till drinking increase, we moved to tx dec 20013 retired bought a nice home, a atv, nice car motorhome all thinks headed for a great time retired, first 2 months she drink about 3 ltrs 9 % wine, this made her happy.

    I found out later she lost her preavious boy friend in a car accident 4 yrs earlier. also her mother and dad, she was next to a lake that was raising out of conttrol, making her no choise but to move,thema bought her home, that’s why we moved to tx she used to live there in 90s,she confessed to drug addiction for 10 yrs needle, also losing all inhearted fam land, too much for her to handle.

    I also had issues, loosing 2 children 9 months apart and mother within 4 yrs children 6 mo apart boy 19 yrs was admitted 4 times in treatment for marrania use. 4 time in teen challenge Mandan north Dakota the boys were leaving at night getting drugs back into center, getting blasted during night and day,no searching or preventive solutions were in place free to go birng in drugs after about 6 mo in treatment, the boys discovered Imodium diariaa drug, taking large amounts at night gave you a hi next day.on nite my son tj, overdid it, toke 75 pills, that nite he had 2 seachures, first one woke uproom mate, second one later took his life they found in dead in bed, dead for hrs,they rushed him to hospital no chance he died in bed in teen challenge center, the paper read died in hospital no true he died in bed,at the center, thay got away with murder, no mention of death in cente teen challenge got away scott free, destroying my life im his father,my life has been hell since because of lack or securety,in center, teen challenge said at the wrongfull death suite they are not responsible ncause her took the pills,do you allow boddles of boose in achol rehabe not, after investion they foung a hole garbage bag full, of misc drugs, in center in morning after tj died,police did nothing, teen challenge got away our layer, talkefdmy wife and me to settle out of court, for a very small amount could not even come close to paying for counsling afterwards,they messed up shouldn’t president of center be addressed with issue of neglelance o security, in and out of center no way they all walked away scott free.

    a lady contacted me after directing me to a teen challane comment site all complaints about center she also lost her son they tossed him out the door, for being under influence of drugs, he passed out died on him vomit after throwing up outside, they did nothing to help him, should of checked him out,,firist, go to comments of bad things happening there you will read a horior storys, but they got away with it they work you children at jobs outside and they get the payed for there work they say they treat boys to pray so they can beat the drug abuse I connot get attourney to appea dession, because I signed off bull crap all information about teen challenge should have be told to me and wife before settling, I want to believe my atty was bought off, bang there goes my life,they got away with it, 9 mo earler than tj death my step son committed suside after raising him from diapers to graduation.all this combined put me in 4 insitutions, deep depression, attempting suside 2 time 13 elctrechock treatments, still mained with depression, all within 4 yrs.my life as I knew it was over, stil fighting depression over this, teen challenge put me over the edge,there mismanagement and treatment form in not acceptable,but they got away with it.

    Karin had her baggage I had mine. after two months in tx Karin fell of off u haul truck smashing side of her face, hellocopter her away 4 brain bleeds intenstve care several days,in tx hospital,after returning to hospital with Karin her drinking increased to 5 letters we discovered we were robed while in hospital over 20k in julery was gone, I really have a hard time -, wondering did I cause her death and increase of drinking from my miss fourtine now,10 months later I watched her kill her self with wine I could not stop her.then she got real week one day while buying a Christmas tree,after stopping drinking for 6 wks, went to dr she was to weak, to get on taler looked at heand said must be liver acting up sent her home no tests ran at all for weakness after not drinking wks ambulance took her away not knowing she had a bowl absrtuction total infected inside should have run a blood panel checked her out. then I got to watch her die in intensive care 18 days Christmas eve on my knees beside her while se sruggles for life , she died JAN 4 2015 in hospiital now I have to deal with all her issues and mine .the drinking increase,allong with depression dealing with my loss and hers caused her to self distruct, I knew she drank before I moved with her taking a chance that she will quite, what a way to retire, what could I have done about her drinking the life is sometimes crel but ather factors involved whos to blame how do I go on, you can fall in love with a drinker that is spunky happy fun till drinking inceases, be ready to get the end result.wine is a horrible way to die so is bowle absrtrction not caught in time I loved Karin with all my heart, I promised I would get a animal center named after her she loved cats.kar-ter animal shelter that’s all I live for, drinkers are loveable, but remember they wont stop if they don’t want to please be gentle with a drinker you love she is hurting to inside issues you will not know till to late, what do I do some one owers Karin a animal shelter and me I need closure thankyou sorry for spelling day by day is all I have left thinking some day I will join Karin and my boys soon jst matter of time.

  4. Kristy 20 January, 2015 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    I have been sober for 2yrs and 4 mnts however I still get strong urge to drink sometime I also think about it.I have not yet however some days I really want that drink

  5. Cathy 23 October, 2014 at 12:21 am - Reply

    I am a 57 year old woman I have just counted up the half bottles of bacardi I have hidden the last time was 44 bottles I threw in the recycling bin at the supermarket normally it is 3 half bottles per week And 1bottle of wine.

    why do I drink this way – I don’t know

    I have always enjoyed the dressing up and going out it made me feel great that was 40 years ago a girl of 16 with a glass of lager dancing enjoying life.

    Now my sons have grown, I seen my farther die a slow drugged death suffer thing from dementia I am the only sibling who questioned his abuse at the care home – I was told dad had bowel cancer, hence, the blisters around his private parts ( anal penis) or so I was told. I fern’ task to look at his blisters dad was a proud private shy man who loved his daughters dearly. We had little money growing up a family of 6 children but so very rich in love , happiness, and simple happiness pure family security.

    Dad went into a care home the family could not cope with his wandering bad tempers towards mum we now know it was the medication and illness

    One Saturday night I went to the care home dad was curled in a ball terrified I knew something was wrong

    Dad died in a care home alone in a chair days later

    I drank and drank – it came to me clear the image of dad being lowered in a hoist into a scalding bath – this explained his blisters so severe. They applied liquid skin, dads shaking fears when one of the carers Walked into his room I was told the shaking was a part of his illnes. I thought it was me my bad judgment because of drinking But I know I am right

    I have no proof because of my weakness drinking I deserted the one person who loved and protected me all my life I will never forgive myself dad had visitors every day for 3years at the care home but all the family have moved on but I am stuck with my drinking and torture now

  6. Catherine Bentley 25 March, 2014 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    I am killing myself with alcohol addiction. I got off it but it’s full on again. Withdrawing at the mo and seeing my gp at 5pm. Think I need to be in a safe environment for a bit. Hope I get through this and post again.

  7. Mark 14 January, 2014 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    In response to Rebecca’s post. “Stupid and ill-informed” is an understatement.
    I would add irresponsible and totally untrue.
    This gives women a false sense of reality when women read this.
    You are doing women no favours posting such an irresponsible statement.
    “Shame on YOU!”

    From the partner of a woman with an alcohol dependency. 🙁

    Try reading the following and then make your own mind-up.

    I would invite Rebecca to do some research on how much more alcohol affects women than men in terms of addiction and health.

    Try reading the following.

    Women who abuse alcohol, or even occassionally drink to excess, face greater risks to their health than their male counterparts.

    Women who are married to alcoholics are three times more likely to abuse alcohol
    themselves and three times more likely to work outside the home, compared to wives of non-alcoholics.

    As noted in a previous article, women who drink get drunk quicker than men, even
    taking into account the difference in body weight. But there is also evidence
    that they become addicted faster than men and suffer the consequences of abuse-
    related illnesses sooner than their male counterparts.

    Alcohol increases a woman’s risk of developing serious illnesses and an increased
    risk of heart disease, liver disease, ulcers, reproductive problems, osteoporosis,
    pancreatitis, memory loss, and other illnesses caused by substance and alcohol
    abuse.

    The effects of alcohol on the liver are more severe for women than for men. Women
    develop alcoholic liver disease, particularly alcoholic cirrhosis and hepatitis,
    after a shorter period of time than men. Proportionately more alcoholic women die
    from cirrhosis than do alcoholic men.

    Other Health Problems
    In the “late stages” of alcoholism in women, they also develop hypertension,
    anemia, and malnutrition much quicker than alcoholic men, according to the Centers
    for Disease Control. A study by the Journal of the Medical Association,
    showed that a woman’s risk of breast cancer rises with the amount of alcohol
    regularly consumed. Drinking moderately or not at all can reduce the chance of
    getting breast cancer.

    The study showed that women who drink two to five alcoholic drinks each day, were 41 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than nondrinkers. Excessive alcohol consumption also increases the risk of several digestive-tract cancers.

    These health risk are even greater for older women. Women are more likely than men to start drinking heavily later in life, and many times their alcohol abuse goes
    undiagnosed.

    THE LIVER
    This is a part of your body that does regular overtime.

    The liver is our largest organ and it has 500 different roles. One of the liver’s
    most important functions is to break down food and convert it into energy when
    you need it. Your liver also helps the body to get rid of waste products and plays
    a vital role in fighting infections, particularly in the bowel

    And yet, when your liver is damaged, you generally won’t know about it until things
    get serious. Regularly drinking over the government’s daily unit guidelines can
    increase your risk of developing liver disease and cause irreparable damage to this
    very important part of your body.

    In fact, this level of drinking is a major cause of the 25% increase in deaths from
    liver disease in England over the last decade (from 9,231 in 2001 to 11,575 in 2009)
    Overall, alcoholic liver disease accounts for well over a third (37%) of liver
    disease deaths. And figures show victims of liver disease are getting younger more
    than 1 in 10 of deaths of people in their 40s are from liver disease, most of them
    from alcoholic liver disease.

    Drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver in two main ways

    Liver disease is the term used to describe damage to the liver and there are two types.
    Acute is when liver problems develop over a few months and chronic liver disease is
    damage over a number of years.

    There are lots of different causes of liver disease, including drinking alcohol to
    excess which causes alcoholic liver disease’. Scientists are not sure exactly why
    drinking too much alcohol can damage your liver but the reasons include:

    1.Oxidative stress. When our liver tries to break down alcohol, the resulting chemical
    reaction can damage its cells. This damage can lead to inflammation and scarring
    as the liver tries to repair itself.
    2.Toxins in gut bacteria. Alcohol can damage our intestine which lets toxins from
    our gut bacteria get into the liver. These toxins can also lead to inflammation and
    scarring.

    How much alcohol is too much? Find out here…

    If you drink most days of the week, you will increase your risk of developing liver
    disease.

    Evidence about how much and how often you need to drink to increase your chances of
    developing liver disease is unclear. But all the research shows that the more alcohol
    you drink, the more likely you are to develop liver disease.

    The NHS identifies the following two groups as at a high risk of developing serious
    types of alcoholic liver disease:

    1.Men who drink more than 35 units of alcohol a week for 10 years or more
    2.Women who drink more than 28 units of alcohol a week for 10 years or more

    Evidence suggests that other factors that increase your risk of developing liver disease
    include:
    being dependent on alcohol around seven in 10 of people with alcoholic liver disease
    have an alcohol dependency problem
    being female this could be because women develop higher levels of alcohol in the blood
    than men even if they’ve drunk the same amount of alcohol
    being overweight excess weight can exacerbate many of the mechanisms of liver damage
    caused by excessive drinking
    genetics, certain genetic factors, including those affecting the liver’s handling of fat,
    influence the risk of a heavy drinker developing liver disease.

    What is alcohol poisoning? Find out here…

    Excessive drinking can make your liver get fat reducing your consumption can help it
    return to its normal size

    Drink more than eight units a day (four pints of 4% lager) if you’re a man and over five
    units a day (a couple of 175ml glasses of wine) if you’re a woman, for two or three weeks
    and you’re likely to develop something called fatty liver.

    The liver turns glucose into fat which it sends round the body to store for use when we
    need it. Alcohol affects the way the liver handles fat so your liver cells get stuffed
    full of it.

    If this happens, you may feel a vague discomfort in your abdomen because your liver is
    swollen. You might also feel sick and lose your appetite. A blood test may be able to
    show if you have fatty liver.

    • Rebecca 16 January, 2014 at 2:31 am - Reply

      I do know all of this is true, I was going through a bad time when I posted this and drinking too much. When I drink too much I rebel and want to think it’s not hurting me. I did apologize and should have had it all deleted. I’ve probably had some damage, I’ve had the same struggles, I just don’t like to admit that it’s doing damage. Thanks, it helped me to read your post.

    • Rebecca 16 January, 2014 at 7:27 am - Reply

      If you could be a little less judgmental, that would help. 🙁 I said I was sorry months ago…I have the same struggles as your wife… and one of them is to deny any problems like I did. If you know anything about addiction, we’ll make excuses and try to reason that it’s not bad for us, or hurting us.

      So, I’d like you to do a little research, Mark, on the psychology of an addict and maybe you’d be lucky enough to understand.

      • Emily 13 September, 2014 at 11:21 pm - Reply

        Rebecca,

        From what I’ve read, I think you’re really brave. I don’t think its fair to judge people who are in a bad place… (And believe me I’ve been there!) I hope you’re doing well now and looking forward to a bright and happy future.

  8. DAVID RAWLINSON 9 December, 2013 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    I NO I LOST MY MUM TO DRINK SHE WAS ONLY 46 IT BROKE MY HEART STILL NOT GOT OVER IT

  9. Rebecca 12 September, 2013 at 5:22 am - Reply

    Also, I’m also from the USA of which the study wasn’t a part of, but we have to be close to trends in the UK. I don’t see how we could be that far off from the UK.

  10. Rebecca 12 September, 2013 at 4:46 am - Reply

    I’m part of the population…I’m so tired of men thinking they can withstand more. We have hearts to withstand multiple childbirths. We have the stamina! Biology can prove it…a little alcohol, we can keep up with the blokes!

    It’s probably been recently recognized that women are drinking as much as men, but this study may have taken 15 years while it was happening! Women are a biological fortress, it’s just nature. Even some drug abusers have healthy babies, or we wouldn’t have made it this far as a species. I think evolution is a force to recon with.

    • Rebecca 12 September, 2013 at 5:12 am - Reply

      Sorry, that sounded really stupid and ill-informed, but how I felt. I just think too big of a deal is being made of it. I think women lied about how much they drank in the past and studies may be off.

      • Rebecca 16 April, 2014 at 7:46 am - Reply

        This is sooo embarrassing, but today I’m facing heart problems and fertility issues at approaching 40. I shouldn’t have said those things…karma’s a bitch.

        I’ll eat crow, I’m not beyond that!!!

        Hope you’ve all got on better!

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